Erwin Wurm’s ceramics can’t seem to stand still. Works in the Austrian artist’s “Dissolution” sculpture series, made between 2018 and 2020, sag, lurch, fold over on, or emerge from, their pedestals. Many of the pastel-glazed pieces feature body parts—skinny hands, misshapen ears, pursed lips—that break free from their hulking clay bases. These sculptures might seem like a departure from the work Wurm is best known for, his “One Minute Sculptures.” Begun in 1988, that series includes photos, video, and performance art pieces of ordinary people in peculiar situations—a girl sitting in a chair, for instance, with a yellow bucket balanced on her head and a woman face-planting into a stack of oranges. Wurm’s current sculptures may at first seem like a departure. But they too are paradoxical, at once abstract and anthropomorphic. As Wurm says, “one idea is not enough.” —J.D.
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