Peter Fischli David Weiss, Untitled, 1994–2013 (detail). Painted polyurethane, 164 parts, overall dimensions variable. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Purchased with funds contributed by the Collections Council and through prior gifts of an anonymous donor, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan L. Halpern, and the Andrew Powie Fuller and Geraldine Spreckels Fuller Bequest 2014.115 © Peter Fischli David Weiss. Photo: Jason Klimatsas, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
For more than three decades, Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946–2012) collaborated to create a unique oeuvre that brilliantly exploits humor, banality, and a keen rethinking of the readymade to realign our view of the world. Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better offers the most thorough investigation to date of their joint production, revealing the ways they juxtaposed the spectacular and the ordinary in order to celebrate the sheer triviality of everyday life, while creating an open-ended interrogation of temporality, visual culture, and the nature of existence itself. The retrospective will demonstrate the intricate interrelationships among Fischli and Weiss’s seemingly discrete works in sculpture, photography, installation, and video, each of which they used to confront, examine, and lampoon the seriousness of high art. In particular it will establish a sustained dialogue between Fischli and Weiss’s work with the moving image and their sculptural practice, with signature projects like Suddenly This Overview (1981– ), hundreds of unfired clay sculptures that pillory established truths and myths alike, and The Way Things Go (1987), an inane filmic study of causational activity, appearing along the museum’s ramps. The exhibition will further consider Fischli and Weiss’s extended meditations on the banality of existence, with key objects from virtually every body of work within their oeuvre, including Sausage Series (1979); Equilibres (Quiet Afternoon) (1984–86); Grey Sculptures (1984–86/2006–08); Rubber Sculptures (1986–90/2005–06); Visible World (1986–2012); Airports (1987–2012); Polyurethane Installations (1991– ); Question Projections (2000–2003); Fotografías (2005); and Walls, Corners, Tubes (2009–12), among others.
Initially planned during David Weiss’s lifetime, Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better is organized by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, and Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media, in close collaboration with Peter Fischli.
To coincide with this exhibition, two public works by Fischli and Weiss will appear on the streets of New York. From February 5 to May 1, Public Art Fund presents the text-based monument to labor How to Work Better (1991) as a wall mural at the corner of Houston and Mott Streets. At 11:57 pm nightly throughout February, the video Büsi (Kitty) (2001) will appear in Times Square as part of Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment program.
Guggenheim NY - Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better - 05.02.2016 - 27.04.2016