Erwin Wurm - Small Fat Car, 2001
Erwin Wurm - The Beauty Business
GEM Den Haag, 2011
Erwin Wurm (born 1954) is an Austrian artist born in Bruck an der Mur / Styria. He currently lives and works in Vienna and Limburg, Austria.
Since the late 1980s he has developed an ongoing series of "One Minute Sculptures," in which he poses himself or his models in unexpected relationships with everyday objects close at hand, prompting the viewer to question the very definition of sculpture. He seeks to use the "shortest path" in creating a sculpture—a clear and fast, sometimes humorous, form of expression. As the sculptures are fleeting and meant to be spontaneous and temporary, the images are only captured in photos or on film.
In The artist who swallowed the world (Hatje Cantz) Wurm is quoted as saying: "I am interested in the everyday life. All the materials that surrounded me could be useful, as well as the objects, topics involved in contemporary society. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political."
Erwin Wurm is known for his humorous approach to formalism. About the use of humor in his work, Wurm says in an interview: "If you approach things with a sense of humor, people immediately assume you're not to be taken seriously. But I think truths about society and human existence can be approached in different ways. You don't always have to be deadly serious. Sarcasm and humor can help you see things in a lighter vein."