Urs Fischer’s Majestic ‘Wave’ Sculpture: A Gagosian Gallery Revelation at Paris’ Illustrious Place Vendôme

September 27, 2023

Photo: Robert Banat
Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

The renowned Gagosian Gallery is set to unveil Urs Fischer’s majestic sculpture, “Wave” (2018), at the illustrious Place Vendôme in Paris, a significant feature of the celebrated Paris+ by Art Basel, commencing October 14. This notable sculpture, the sixth installment in Fischer’s innovative “Big Clays” series, emanates magnificence, intriguingly juxtaposing its monumental facade with its humble beginning.

Genesis and Evolution

Each creation in Fischer’s series starts its journey as a modest clay model, sculpted with precision by Fischer himself. He perceives this creative process as “a sensual and repetitive gesture”, an amalgamation of harmonious motion and spontaneous artistic expression, realized before the intervention of conscious contemplation. After manifesting hundreds of such exquisite models, Fischer chooses one to be transformed digitally and amplified, carefully maintaining every intricate detail, including his fingerprints, thus elevating them to monumental splendor.

Model for Wave, 2017
Milled aluminum, galvanized steel, adhesive, screws
15 1/2 x 24 3/8 x 15 3/8 inches (39.4 x 61.9 x 39.1 cm)

International Acclaim

The “Big Clays” collection, a series of ten exquisite aluminum sculptures, has gained international acclaim, with showcases in cities such as Florence, Moscow, and New York. In 2022, “Lovers #2” (2022) was featured at the esteemed Museo Jumex in Mexico City. Both “Wave” and “L’Arc” (2016) from the same collection exemplify unparalleled craftsmanship, their refined surfaces augmented by a meticulous milling process revealing enhanced detail and reflective brilliance.

Musing in Abstraction

“Wave”, soaring at over seventeen feet, embodies Fischer’s inclination to intertwine deliberate creation with abstract contemplation, providing observers with a provocative exploration of aesthetic nonconformity. The sculpture conveys a sense of suspended animation between creation and ruin, invoking the iconic creations of Barbara Hepworth and a distinguished bronze by Willem de Kooning. It encapsulates the “automatic” techniques of Surrealist artists, resonating the mysterious aura of an arcane symbol.

Model for Wave, 2017 (detail)
Milled aluminum, galvanized steel, adhesive, screws
15 1/2 x 24 3/8 x 15 3/8 inches (39.4 x 61.9 x 39.1 cm)

Convergence of Dichotomies

“Wave” represents Fischer’s enchantment with transformation, illustrating the dynamic interplay between abstract and figurative elements, merging modernity with enduring essence. It harmonizes with the molten allure of his candle sculptures, representing both a homage to and a rebellion against artistic conventions.

Urs Fischer’s “Wave” transcends the realm of public sculpture and is a vivid manifestation of primal and sophisticated artistic expression. Stationed at Place Vendôme, it beckons observers to ponder the delicate equilibrium between creation and decay, the personal and the immense, reflecting eternal elegance while questioning the boundaries of artistic norms. Learn more on