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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

FACT: The Airport, The Lamp and The Bear

Lot 32, Sale 2440 Urs Fischer (b. 1973)
Untitled (Lamp/Bear)
Price Realized: $6,802,500
(x 3.6435 in USD = 24,784,908.75QAR)
(x 11.80 in PHP = 292,461,923.20 PHP)

Untitled (Lamp/Bear) brightly celebrates the objects that define a young child’s life. Artist Urs Fischer realized this striking sculpture on a monumental scale, combining a canary yellow teddy bear, everyone’s cherished childhood keepsake, with a bedroom desk lamp. The lamp neatly bisects the bear, casting a shadow over its face, while a forlorn black button eye peers out from underneath. The bear’s inanimate body flops forward, lovingly care worn, resting against the support of the lamp stand. The first out of a series of two works, the sculpture starkly defies its facture. Fischer made the bear in Untitled (Lamp/Bear), not out of softly comforting fur and foam, but out of bronze, a rich material that reflects the personal value a young owner places upon a toy. 

Urs Fischer, Untitled (Lamp/Bear), 2005-2006, in construction.
© the Artist. Courtesy of the artist and Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen.
Photo courtesy of Katalin Deér.
© the Artist.
Courtesy of the artist and Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen.  

The sculpture evokes permanence, weighing close to seventeen tons, contrasting with much of the artist’s oeuvre to date, such as his ephemeral Untitled (Bread House) (2004-2005). The giant lamp is a functioning beacon that lightens up outdoor space at night, defining its surroundings and illuminating the giant teddy bear. This playful and humorous work depicts an everyday object surreally, uncannily. It parallels Jeff Koons’s public monuments, such as Koons’s monumental Puppy (1992) - housed in the forum outside the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - or his Celebration series of balloon animals blown up to fantastic proportions. Untitled (Lamp/Bear) was exhibited to great acclaim at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. It is the most significant work by the artist to be offered at auction to date.



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