C California Style

Horses Dream of Horses, 2004. PHOTO: Urs Fischer, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich.

Journey Through Juxtaposition

by C California Style

Swiss bad boy and art world darling Urs Fischer is the subject of a new MOCA retrospective.

Houses crafted out of bread; giant, slumped-over teddy bears; floating, tetherless body parts cast in aluminum—Swiss artist Urs Fischer takes the surreal and slams it right up against a hard, gritty backbone. Traditional art motifs and forms—still life, portrait, nude, landscape—are wrenched and reworked until subversive. In the 2007 exhibition “You,” he took a jackhammer to a Chelsea gallery, leaving a giant hole for people to creep around. His “Problem Painting” series overlayed Hollywood publicity shots with fruit and vegetables; The Portrait of a Single Raindrop looks like a boulder burst through the wall. This month, MOCA brings the artist (famously photographed with his puppy obscuring his face) to the Southland for the annual MOCA gala and to fête his retrospective. More than 65,000 square feet of work from the past 10 years will fill both the Geffen Contemporary and MOCA Grand. Curator Jessica Morgan hints at one spectacular piece—“a collaborative work produced with the help of dozens, if not hundreds.” Apr. 21-Aug. 19; moca.org

Written and edited by Elizabeth Khuri Chandler