san-francisco

Erwin Wurm

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The one-minute sculpture, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm’s trademark form, is as easily identifiable and digestible as a brand name. These instruction-based artworks, in which participants are asked to engage in silly and mildly humiliating acts, are eminently camera ready. Yet Wurm’s work is deceptively pop in tone—while superficially humorous, it deals with darker psychological, philosophical, and religious ideas than its outwardly lighthearted style might imply.

Like the bulk of Wurm’s projects, his first US museum survey, “I Love My Time, I Don’t Like My Time: Recent Work by Erwin Wurm,” is both playful and austere. Glossy photographs and videos showing individuals enacting instructional pieces are elegantly installed in large rooms. The photographic and video works exist somewhere between dematerialized art object and documentation, yet Wurm has classified himself as a sculptor. The term

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