Erwin Wurm’s Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, at Lehmann Maupin

Installation View
Installation View (All Photos By Gail)

If you enjoy humorous, absurdist art in the conceptual style of David Shirley, and you also love Midcentury Modern Furnishings, and you have an Instagram account, then you will surely go wild over Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm’s latest exhibit, Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, which is in its final two weeks at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Grab your camera and your sense of childish playfulness and head on over!

Installation View With Ethics Demonstrated in a Geometrical Way

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (which is also the title of the piece seen front and center in the above photo) is an exhibit that a encourages — even demands — viewer participation in that you are asked to physically interact with the art in a series of One Minutes Sculptures, as follows:

The basic premise of a One Minute Sculpture remains uniform. For each work, using a drawing or specific text, Wurm directs participants to pose with an object, which have ranged from cleaning products and sneakers to furniture and fruit. The viewer enacts the proposed sculpture on a low plinth, manipulating their body and the predetermined prop in a pose held for a short time.

Instructions

While instructions are printed on each object, a descriptive sheet with photo illustrations is available at the gallery’s front desk.

One Minute Sculptures

Let’s take a closer look!

Installation View

A Sofa and a Blue Dustpan invite you to perform the One Minute Sculpture known as The Parallel Universe.

The Parallell Universe

Hold the Dustpan against the sofa with your body.

Ethics Demonstrated in a Geometrical Way

Instructions for Ethics Demonstrated in a Geometrical Way: kneel in front of the chair and place your head through the hole.

Head TV

Head TV: Lower your head through the hole in the cabinet.

Head TV Instructions

Fun!

Wurm reiterates that the success of these ephemeral pieces is determined by the exactness with which the directions are executed, stating, “The One Minute Sculptures only come into existence if the public follows precisely the instructions of the artist and free will has a low priority.”

Installation View With Deep Snow

Deep Snow: Step into the holes and lift the bench, holding it aloft with your legs.

Instructions for Deep Snow

Organization of Love

Instructions for Organization of Love

Organization of Love: With a partner, hold the foam sheet between your foreheads with your arms resting on the cushion.

Roast Yourself Under the Sun of Epicure

Roast Yourself Under the Sun of Epicure: Rest your head under the lamp.

Roast Yourself Under the Sun of Epicure Directions

Spaceship to Venus

Spaceship to Venus: Lie down inverted on the seat of the chair and lift your legs in the air.

Spaceship to Venus Directions

Pink Melted Building
Equitable

In addition to the One Minute Sculptures, the exhibition includes five new sculptural works in cast bronze and mixed media, including Equitable (2016) and Flat Iron (2016), recreations of two iconic New York buildings that appear to be melting, and Bad Thoughts (2016), created by casting deformed bags of clay.

Installation View with Flatiron
Flat Iron

3 Leg Guy
Bad Thoughts

Bad Thoughts reminded me of Big Kastenmann, the sculpture that Wurm made for display in front of the Standard Hotel back in 2012. As you can see, the exhibit is lots of fun and be sure to go with a friends so that you can get your snaps in!

Erwin Wurm’s Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order will be on Exhibit Through May 26th, 2017 at Lehmann Maupin, Located at 536 West 22nd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Installation View with Spaceship to Venus

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