Erwin Wurm’s work plays with restraints on social critique through absurdity, initiating surprising situations that raise existential questions related to daily life. In his sculptures, performances, videos, photography and site-specific works—all of which he considers within the realm of his sculptural practice—he utilises what is seemingly available, and at times includes bystanders, friends, and himself. The trappings of consumer materialism, clothing, furniture, cars, houses, and other everyday objects easily find their way into his work, though frequently distorted in size or shape. His works often involve a quick gesture combined with an object as a prop, creating absurd juxtapositions that result in humorous situations coupled with a momentary awkwardness. This unease lies at the heart of his practice, as he unveils the banality of existence that lies behind the laughter.
Austrian artist Erwin Wurm (1954, Bruck an der Mur) lives and works in Limberg and Vienna. He graduated from Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz (1977) and Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Vienna (1982). His work is in collections including Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; MAK, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; among others.