Erwin Wurm

“I want to address serious matters but in a light way . . . of course, humor is a strong part of this agenda.”

 

 

 

WHO

Erwin Wurm (born 1954, Austria) explores the boundaries of sculpture and performance art. His absurdist work includes everyday object sculptures, architectural interventions, and photography.

 

WHAT

Much of Wurm’s work utilizes the human body. In One Minute Sculptures, he creates instructional drawings inviting visitors to use everyday objects in unconventional ways in order to pose as an ephemeral sculpture. In 59 Stellungen (59 Positions), Wurm dresses himself in nonsensical ways to create forms that appear like modern sculptures.

 

WHY

Wurm explores the physical and psychological boundaries of the material world. Why does using our body to create a sculpture in public cause some people to laugh and others to cringe? How does clothing shape our bodies but also our image of ourselves?

 

LISTEN

PlayTime curator Trevor Smith shares his own experience creating a One Minute Sculpture. Read the transcript.
 

 

WATCH

Erwin Wurm teaches us how to spell “play” in his response to the PlayTime manifesto. Read the transcript.

 

 

WORKS

 

Double Piece, 2002
From One Minute Sculptures, 1997–present
Mixed media
Studio Erwin Wurm

 

Metrum, 2015
From One Minute Sculptures
, 1997–present
Mixed media
Studio Erwin Wurm

 


Organisation of Love, 2007
From One Minute Sculptures
, 1997–present
Mixed media
Tate Modern

 

Sweater, pink, 2018
Cotton-acrylic blend fabric and metal
Studio Erwin Wurm

 

59 Stellungen (59 Positions), 1992
Video (20 minutes)
Studio Erwin Wurm
 

(Image credits: Courtesy of the artist, photo by Elfie Semotan (detail); courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, photo by Elsa Okazaki; photo by Bob Packert/PEM; photo by Bob Packert/PEM; photo by Bob Packert/PEM; photo by Bob Packert/PEM; courtesy of Studio Erwin Wurm and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.)

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