Erwin Wurm


Erwin Wurm rethinks the basic tenets of sculpture, focusing on the relationship between the human body and everyday objects. His work critiques contemporary culture through an absurdist sensibility that scrutinizes concepts of weight, volume, balance, texture, proportion, and time. In this two-part exhibition, Wurm presents an overview of his practice and an in-depth look at his ongoing relationship to fashion.

Signature image for Erwin Wurm exhibition
Erwin Wurm, "Moncler," 2021, archival pigment print, 78 3/4 x 52 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

The first section of the exhibition includes works in a variety of media that test assumed parameters of authorship, participation, materiality, legibility, and permanence. This experimental thinking is most clearly exemplified in the artist’s famed One Minute Sculptures, which invite audiences to briefly pose with specific objects, and in doing so, complete the artwork. The second section of the exhibition in the museum’s André Leon Talley Gallery focuses on Wurm’s collaborations with fashion brands and magazines. In cheeky reimaginings of the uses of high fashion, the artist creates photographs and sculptures that transform elegant garments by Hermès and other illustrious brands into strange distortions of the human form. With these radical works, Wurm unveils the ways that fashion shapes — and is shaped by — our bodies and culture.

About the artist

Erwin Wurm (b. 1954, Bruck an der Mur/Styria, Austria; lives and works in Vienna and Limberg, Austria) graduated from University of Graz, Austria, in 1977, and from University of Applied Art and Academy of Fine Art, Vienna, in 1982. Wurm came to prominence with his One Minute Sculptures, a project that he began in 1996/97. Solo exhibitions of Wurm’s work have been organized at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, U.K.; Peter Marino Foundation, Southampton, New York; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; Suwon Museum of Art, South Korea; Bratislava City Gallery, Slovakia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia; Museum Jan Cunen, Oss, Netherlands; Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice; Museum Hartberg, Austria; K11 Atelier, Tianjin, China; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; Kunstraum Dornbirn, Austria; Vancouver Art Gallery; Vieille Charité, Marseille, France; K11 Musea, Hong Kong; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France; The Albertina Museum, Vienna; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland; Public Art Fund, New York; Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Ind.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Kraków; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain; and Dallas Contemporary, Tx. 

Wurm’s work is held in numerous international public and private collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London, and many others.

In 2011, Wurm’s Narrow House was installed at the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti as part of Glasstress 2011, a collateral event of the 54th Venice Biennale. In 2017, Wurm returned to Venice for the 57th Biennale, where he represented Austria.

Install Views


Hot is co-organized by SCAD Museum of Art chief curator Daniel S. Palmer and curator Ben Tollefson.

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