VIENNA
s t a t e m e n t / b i o



. . . Hung or laid on two screws or nails, an object (the pullover) so familiar to us from everyday life becomes a sculpture in an almost inexplicable way. The transformation created by Erwin Wurm remains astonishing. It has nothing contrived about it and thrives from the naturalness of the appearance. The longer one deals with the objects of desire, the more enigmatic the evidence becomes, for the objects appear to have been subjected to no compulsion.

The act of dealing with sweaters, putting them on and taking them off, is hardly ever perceived consciously. When the object, i.e. the sweater, is stretched so that the body of the wearer can find its way into this envelope, when it shrinks so as to adapt to the body's contours and to create a shape or a lack thereof, an essential plastic process takes place.

What relates the sweaters, these strangest of Wurm's sculptures, to his other works is the tangible sensuality of the material, the closeness of the wearer to the fabrics which expand the categories of plastic thinking. His oeuvre, which is conceived from a human point of view, uses familiar dimensions and objects. It is deeply anthropological, emotionally charged and capable of raising fundamental questions pertaining to sculptures in an abstract form.


Roland Wäspe, "A Sweater as a Plastic Process," Erwin Wurm, (Vienna: Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung, 1995), pp. 43-46


I am interested in the object, in liberating it from its field, giving it a new validity and meaning. It is integrated in a different system of values and ideas: in that of art. In this way it loses its function and takes on another. I do not want to go so far as to say that the object is no longer recognized. Rather I want to have the appeal of the recognition effect on the one hand and that of alienation on the other, which the object emanates.


Erwin Wurm interviewed by Desirée Schellerer, Design Vienna, (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, February 16-March 27, 1989) p. 29





1979-82
Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna,
and Academy of Fine Arts,
Vienna, Austria

1977-79
Mozarteum,
Salzburg, Austria




1996
Solo Exhibition,
Galerie Wilma Lock,
St. Gallen, Switzerland

1995
Solo Exhibition,
Kunstmuseum,
St. Gallen, Switzerland

1994
Solo Exhibition,
Galerie Sylvana Lorenz,
Paris, France

1993
Solo Exhibition,
Kunstverein,
Hamburg, Germany

1992
Solo Exhibition,
Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre,
Paris, France