Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business. Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach

Erwin Wurm is one of the most successful contemporary Austrian artists. His work owns a very unique kind of humor and questions the traditional definition of sculpture. In his One Minute Sculptures he puts himself or his models in unexpected and unusual relationship with everyday objects. Erwin Wurm’s work often invites the viewer to interact and participate and become part of the artwork. Wurm and his work became known outside the art world when the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers released the video to their song Can’t Stop, which was obviously inspired by Erwin Wurm’s art.

Coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach 2011, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach opened an exhibition with new works by Erwin Wurm. Entitled Beauty Business, it features sculptures that were created specifically for this show. Among the pieces on display are works from Erwin Wurm’s Drinking Scupture series. Various pieces of furniture form a bar. The viewer is invited to drink – and get drunk: “Open the cabinet door take out the alcohol pour some in the glass and drink the work is finished when you are drunk”. In this video, we attend the opening reception of the exhibition and observe the audience interacting with Erwin Wurm’s work.

Also on display are Wurm’s “sweater” pieces. These large-scale wall works blur the boundary between human form and the museum building. There’s also a series of smaller sweater sculptures and a new series of “hoodie” works.

Erwin Wurm was born in Bruck an der Mur. He lives and works in Vienna and Limburg, Austria. The artist has exhibited extensively with shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, (2005); Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France, (2007); Konstmuseum Malmö, Sweden, (2008); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland, (2008); the Moscow Biennial (2009); Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2010); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010).

Works by Wurm are included in prestigious collections throughout the world at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenhein Collection, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Musèe d`Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, among others.

Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business runs through March 4, 2012. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Dallas Contemporary, Texas and curated by Peter Doroshenko. After its presentation at the Bass Museum of Art it will be on view at Dallas Contemporary April 14 through August 19, 2012.

Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business. Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach. Opening reception, November 30, 2011.

PS: Watch our report on Erwin Wurm’s retrospective at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany in 2008 with an introduction by Robert Fleck:

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Posted in: art, Miami, no comment, VernissageTV