Because London is that bit much more à la mode when Urs is in town.
This major exhibition of new sculptures is an extension of a series of works that was shown at The New Museum, New York in 2009 under the title Marguerite de Ponty, a play on the works of French poet Stéphane Mallarmé (the pseudonym of Étienne Mallarmé, who also went under the name de Ponty) and a French phrase indicating the practice of serving all the dishes of a meal at once - I guess if you wanted to describe this show in one word, it would be 'playful'.
The pieces in this new exhibition work in a chronological art historical order of significance. Service à la française, the most ambitious of Fischer's works to date is a blindingly immersive work made from over 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel. Imposed upon more than fifty chrome monolithic boxes Fischer has silkscreened a series of images of everyday items. The result is an optical illusion, a trompe-l'œil imago mundi, the city borne of a cosmic chaos before your very eyes.
The title, Douglas Sirk, is an homage to the Hollywood director who, after decades of being overlooked as a run-of-the-mill maker of melodramatic features was posthumously re-appraised as a master of irony. Fischer takes innate irony as his point of genesis and what we are left with is a world of mirrors, screens and windows in which both the characters of the exhibition and the audiences themselves are reflected, framed and divided.
This is the inaugural exhibition of the new Sadie Coles HQ gallery in London's Piccadilly. Bravely, they have taken the decision to show an artist who, purposefully, does not make the gallery his own. The space floats, moves, is peripatetic. They just had close Fischer, along with Rebecca Warren, curating a show of the late yBa Angus Fairhurst at their original Audley Street gallery. This is a gallery that knows exactly what they are doing.
Douglas Sirk by Urs Fischer is showing at Sadie Coles HQ, 4 New Burlington Place, London W1S 2HS until 11 December.
all photos: Stegan Altenburger; copyright Urs Fischer; courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London