Not Eggsactly Your Typical Easter Art: Urs Fischer

For Easter this year, I wanted to share something less traditional than your typical dyed Easter Eggs and even more unusual than Bunnies, Rabbits & Hares or the myriad artistic interpretations of The Last Supper I have curated on Pinterest. And I found artist Urs Fischer’s giant hard boiled eggs obscuring Hollywood head shots to be just the thing.

Egg Art by Urs Fischer: Hard-boiled eggs on old head shots

These later additions to Swiss-born Dadaist Urs Fischer’s Problem Paintings, an ongoing series of giant 0ld Hollywood head shots obstructed by everything from cigarette butts to bananas, feature eggs – a subject that appears in several of Fischer’s works.

Serena © Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London, Photo: Mats Nordman
Urs Fischer, Sloppy Problem (left)  and Real Problem (right), photo: Stefan Altenburger

Drost Effect Magazine says Using a combination of materials to finish his big photographic portraits, all dominated by eggs that are either perfectly whole or split open to expose their solid yolks, he opens on their surfaces a strong trompe l’oeil effect. As it’s not possible to represent time, he, at least, cuts a space between the dimensions of what one perceives and what one has indeed in front of his eyes”

Urs Fischer exhibit at Rome’s Gagosian Gallery, Opening Night, 2013:
above photos by Gabriele Malaguti

Below are all nine of Urs Fischer’s Problem Paintings with Eggs.

Historic Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.8 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: Mats Nordman

Serious Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.8 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: Mats Nordman

Half a Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.8 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: Mats Nordman

Real Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.9 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: James Ewing

Innocent Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.9 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: James Ewing

Sloppy Problem, 2013
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.9 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: James Ewing

Problem Painting, 2013
Milled aluminum panel, aramid fiber honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, wood, screws, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 141 3/4 x 106 3/8 x 1 inches (360 x 270 x 2.5 cm), photo: James Ewing

Buried Problem, 2014
Aluminum panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component epoxy adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, spray enamel, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96 x 72 x 1 inches (243.8 x 182.9 x 2.5 cm), photo: Mats Nordman

T Magazine said of Urs Fischer’s 2012 show at The Gagosian Gallery which featured the earlier Problem Paintings:
“Collectively the gigantic silk screens of Old Hollywood head shots are called “Problem Paintings,” which is the show’s title. The “problem” is that an organic or inorganic object obstructs each visage. Beets, a wrench or a banana — each obstacle is quotidian, but at this size, for some are as large as a pony, they are immediately iconic.”

Asked whether the combinations were selected on formal principles alone, Fischer quickly responded in the affirmative. But he also explained that there is a correlation between the thing and the face. Mostly adhering to gender binaries (which I understand were fairly well adhered to in Old Hollywood), each pairing either “pulls in” or “pushes out.” You can guess which category the banana belongs in. What the “Problem Paintings” do not do, by design, is portray a middle. Born from the artist’s frustration that so much visual creativity that happens on screens never gains dimensionality because it looks so bad when printed out, these are illustrations of monumental flatness. There may not be as much there as in his other works, but that may be part of the point.”

Read The Provocative Urs Fischer on his Problem Paintings from Artsy here

About The Artist

Urs Fischer, photo by Jesse Frohman

Urs Fischer was born in 1973 in Zurich, Switzerland. Fischer studied photography at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich; visited de Ateliers, Amsterdam; was an artist in residence at Delfina Studio Trust; and has lived and worked in Zurich, London, Los Angeles, and New York. Fischer produces work in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has been exhibiting since 1995. His installations and sculptures have been included in group exhibitions and biennales internationally.

images in this post photographed by Mats Nordman, James Ewing, Stefan Altenburger and Gabriela Malaguti, courtesy of Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer

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