Dallas, TX, October 5, 2007—The Dallas Museum of Art today announced the acquisition of Equilibres, a series of 82 photographs by Peter Fischli and David Weiss. The European artists, described by ARTNews as “indisputably the best thing in Swiss art since Alberto Giacometti,” have been collaborating for almost 30 years and work across a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, film and photography. In Equilibres, they created a number of precarious constructions out of everyday objects and then photographed them. This group of images, taken from 1984 to 1986, is an important addition to the contemporary art collection at the Dallas Museum of Art, one of the few major encyclopedic art museums in the world with a truly significant collection of modern and contemporary art. They are currently on view in the DMA’s Stoffel Gallery until November 18, 2007.
“These slyly humorous photographs suggest how perishable the sculptures are, and make you think the same about sculpture itself, and maybe all art,” said Charles Wylie, the Dallas Museum of Art’s Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art. “In the way they can re-contextualize totally ordinary things into delightfully absurd or melancholically poetic sculpture, Fischli and Weiss have few equals.”
For Equilibres, Fischli and Weiss chose industrial and household items, like silverware, shoes and sausages, intertwined them, and placed them on various pedestals or in studio corners, giving them the full photographic treatment. Lighting casts shadows across a few back walls, furthering a sense of abstraction and drawing in space with light. Some of the set-ups are modest, while others look to be life-size if not larger. Some constructions appear stolidly ready to survive despite their inherent and obvious imbalances.
Among the most influential and widely exhibited artists working today, Peter Fischli and David Weiss began working as a team in 1979. Since then, their art has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in just the last ten years, including those at Kunsthaus Zürich and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Tate Modern, London; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; the Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ICA Philadelphia; ICA Boston; and Walker Art Center. They represented Switzerland in the 1995 Venice Biennale, and later received the Golden Lion award at the 2003 Venice Biennale.
In 1988, the DMA presented the pair’s film The Way Things Go as part of its Concentrations series of project-based solo exhibitions by emerging artists. Equilibres is the photographic and still counterpart to this film, revealing a sophisticated yet unpretentious formal sensibility of concocting beautiful yet wry sculpture using the least elevated of materials.
Equilibres was acquired through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund and a partnership with Dallas private collectors Alden Pinnell, The Rachofsky Collection, Deedie and Rusty Rose, and Catherine and Will Rose.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works, spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.
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