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 Erwin Wurm  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: New York / Austria      Known for: sculpture, photography, installation, drawing

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Fat Car
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Erwin Wurm (born 1954)

Born in 1954 in Bruck and der Mur in Austria, Wurm lives in Vienna and New York. He creates sculptures, drawings, video art, installations and photographs. Since the late 1980s he has developed an ongoing series of "One Minute Sculptures," in which he poses himself or his models in unexpected, often absurd, whimsical or even dangerous relationships with everyday objects, prompting the viewer to question the very definition of sculpture.  He seeks to use the "shortest path" in creating a sculpture—a clear and fast, sometimes humorous, form of expression.  As the sculptures are fleeting and meant to be spontaneous and temporary, the images are only captured in photos or on film.

Everyday objects such as bicycles, brooms, vegetables, balls and chairs inspire his work and about the use of humor in his work, Wurm said in an interview: "If you approach things with a sense of humor, people immediately assume you're not to be taken seriously. But I think truths about society and human existence can be approached in different ways. You don't always have to be deadly serious. Sarcasm and humor can help you see things in a lighter vein." (Video interview on Submarine Channel).

His 'fat car' sculptures are puffy, life-size sculptures made of polyurethane foam and styrofoam covered with lacquer.

Selected Exhibitions:
2007   Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (solo)  
2007   Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (solo)  
2007   Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, Lyon, France (solo)  
2007   Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, Sweden (solo)  
2007   Erwin Wurm, Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal (solo)  
2007   Affinities- Deutsche Guggenheim, 1997-2007, Guggenheim in Berlin, Berlin, Germany 
2007   All about laughter: role of humors in contemporary art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan  
2007   I am future melancholic, Tate Modern, London, UK  
2007   Il était une fois, l’École d’Arts Plastiques de Vitrolles, Vitrolles, France  
2007   Salon de la Kakanie, Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia  
2007   Hamlet, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (solo)  
2006   All the Best. The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha Hadid, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore  
2006   Le mouvement des images, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France  
2006   Simultan, zwei Sammlungen österreichischer Fotographie, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland  
2006   Display of UBS Collection, Tate Modern, London, UK  
2006   Art and Play, Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan  
2006   Adorno was wrong with his ideas about art, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (solo)  
2006   Disziplin der Subjektivität, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (solo)  
2006   Keep a cool head, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria (solo)  
2006   The artist who swallowed the world, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (solo)  
2006   Erwin Wurm. New Sculpture, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (solo)  
2006   The Idiot, Sala de Exposiciones Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain (solo)  
2006   I love my time, I don’t like my time: Recent works by Erwin Wurm, Rose Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA / Frye Art Museum, Seattle, USA (solo)  
2006   SECCA, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston Salem, USA (solo)  
2006   Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (solo)  
2006   CAPC Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France (solo)  
2005   Erwin Wurm, MACRO Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma, Italy (solo)  
2005   Glue your brain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (solo)  
2005   Erwin Wurm, Peggy Guggenheim Collection,Venice, Italy (solo)  
2005   Rundlederwelten, Gropiusbau, Berlin, Germany  
2005   In the Line of Flight, China Millenium Art Museum, Bejing, China  
2005   Erwin Wurm, Museo do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal (solo)  
2005   Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (solo)  
2005   I love my time, I don’t like my time: Recent works by Erwin Wurm, Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, USA (solo)  
2005   Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (curators: Jérome Sans, Nicolas Bourriaud)  
2005   Snow white and the seven dwarfs, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander (curator: Udo Kittelmann)  
2005   Spielräume, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum - Zentrum Internationaler Skulptur, Duisburg, Germany  
2005   Situation Comedy: Humor in recent art, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii/ Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago/ Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba  
2005   Sweet Temptations, Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, Switzerland  
2005   Marking Time, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, USA  
2005   Scultura leggera Light Sculpture, 503 Mulino, Vicenza  
2005   Munch revisited, Museum am Ostwall, Ausstellungshalle der Stadt Dortmund, Germany  
2005   Polaroid als Geste, Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig, Germany  
2004   Seville International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Seville (curator: Harald Szeemann)  
2004   I love my time, I don’t like my time, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA (solo)  
2004   European Dream, Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico (curator: Pamela Echeverria) (solo)  
2004   TRAC Tecnologie e Ricerca Artistica Contemporanea, Palazzo Fichera, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Catania, Italy (solo)  
2004   International Biennial Foundation of Contemporary Art of Seville, Sevilla, Spain  
2004   Arti & Architettura, 1900-2000, Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy  
2004   Skulptur. Prekärer Realismus zwischen Melancholie und Komik, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria  
2004   Ich will, dass Du mir glaubst!, 9. Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach, Fellbach, Germany  
2004   Orozco - Wentworth - Wurm, FotoGrafia - International Rome Festival, The Andersen Museum, Rome, Italy  
2004   Soziale Kreaturen – wie Körper Kunst wird, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany  
2004   Global World - Private Universe, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, St.Gallen, Switzerland  
2004   Von Angesicht zu Angesicht – Das Antlitz des Menschen in der Kunst, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, St.Gallen, Switzerland  
2004   Porträts. Picasso, Bacon, Warhol …, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria  
2004   Vision einer Sammlung, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria  
2004   Farbige Plastik, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria  
2004   Le proche et le lointain, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d'art contemporain, Bignan, France  
2004   LASTWINTERSPRINGNEVERCAME, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey  
2004   Paisaje después de la tormenta [Landscape after the storm], T20 Gallery, Murcia, Spain  
2004   Virtual Frame, Kunsthalle Wien project space Karlsplatz, Vienna, Austria  
2004   4ème Biennale de la Photographie et des Arts visuels, Centre Culturel "Les Chiroux", Liège, Belqium  
2004   Brooklyn Euphoria Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, USA  
2004   Grotesque, burlesque et parody, Abbaye Saint-André, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Meymac, France  
2003   European Dream, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Col San Angel, Mexico City / Casa ITESO-Clavigero, Guadalajara, Mexico (curator: Pamela Echeverria) (solo)  
2003   Erwin Wurm – One Minute Sculptures/Orifice, Melbourne International Festival, ACCA Australian centre for Contemporary Art / Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Australia (solo)  
2003   Erwin Wurm videos, RISD - Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA (solo) 
2003   One Minute Sculptures, Erwin Wurm, Mairies des 13e et 14e arrondissements, FRAC-PACA (Fonds régional d'art contemporain Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), Marseille, France (solo)  
2003   ZKM , Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (solo)  
2002   Fat Survival – Handlungsformen der Skulptur, Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria (solo)  
2002   Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France (solo)  
2002   Erwin Wurm, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (solo)  
2002   Sculptures with embarrassment, Studio K, Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland (solo)  
2002   Erwin Wurm Videoarbeiten 1989-2002, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Budapest, Hungary (solo)  
2001   Performance Drawings, Drawing Centre, New York, USA (solo)  
2001   Sleeping for two months, Centre pour l´Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)  
2001   Videos 1991 – 2001, Miro Foundation, Barcelona, Spain (solo)  
2001   Fat car, MAMCO Museé d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)  
2000   Feelings, L´Ecole des Beaux-arts, Rouen, France (solo)  
1999   Project wall, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (solo)  
1998   Institute of Visual Arts, UW, Milwaukee, USA (solo)  
1997   Me, me fat watching TV, Galleria The Box, Turin, Italy (solo)  
1982   Neue Skulptur, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria  
1982   Triumph Skulptur, Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany  
1981   Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria (solo)  
Selected Literature:  
2005   Flash Art, January-February 2005, Vol. XXXVIII, No.240, Mailand, Italy, p. 117  
2004   Verhagen, Eric. "L’échec sculptural de Erwin Wurm." Art Press (Paris, France), Number 307, December, pp. 18-23, cover.  
2004   Marsola, Helga. “Erwin Wurm.” Flash Art (Milan, August/September), p. 128.  
2004   Marsola, Helga. “Erwin Wurm,” EXIBART on paper (Florence, June/July).  
2004   Contemporary (London), no. 60, p. 74.  
2004   Olivares, Rosa. “Este no es un texto de un minuto/This is not a one minute text.” EXIT (Madrid), no. 13, pp. 72–93.  
2004   Olivares, Rosa. “Teoría, teóricos, teorética, teorizante . . . teomanía.” EXITBOOK (Madrid), no. 3, pp. 4–5.  
2004   Jarque, Vicente. “Sencillo y hondo.” El País (Madrid), February 14, p. 17.  
2004   Carrasco, Alex. “Erwin Wurm, No lo llames burla.” NEO2 (Madrid), no. 33 (February/March), pp.57–58.  
2003   Cash, Stefanie: Stand-Up Artist in: Art in America, December, New York, USA, pp.84-87, cover.  
2003   Gavulová, Lucia: Kto je Erwin Wurm? in: VLNA, no. 16, Bratislava, Slovakia, pp.4-11.  
2003   Fanchette, Frédérique: Simplement incorrect in: Libération, November 14, France, pp.38-39.  
2003   Vozmediano, Elena: Wurm y la escultura efimera in: El Cultural, 18.9.2003, p. 29.  
2003   Kissler, Alexander: Das Orakel der Steiermark in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 152, 5./6. July, p. 17.  
2003   Schlüter, Ralf: Kopf in den Eimer in: ART, Hamburg, Deutschland, Nr. 6, June, p. 135.  
2003   Kröner, Magdalena, Körper auf den Punkt gebracht in: Die Tageszeitung, Berlin, Germany, March 27, p. 16.  
2003   Reininghaus, Alexandra: Eine Skulptur für alle Fälle in: ART, Hamburg, Germany, Nr. 4, April, p.18 - 25.  
2003   Adbusters, Blaine, WA, USA, Jan/Feb Vol 11 No.1, pp. 29 & 34.  
2003   Erwin Wurm in: Time Out, May 1-7, No. 11, p. 100.  
Sources include:

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