urs fischer sculpts larger-than-life wax candle of dasha zhukova and melts her to the ground

urs fischer sculpts larger-than-life wax candle of dasha zhukova and melts her to the ground

swiss artist urs fischer‘s latest wax sculpture features a larger-than-life candle figure of dasha zhukova, the russian art collector and founder of the garage museum of contemporary art in moscow. presented at the davies street gagosian gallery in london, ‘dasha’ is seated in a chair wearing a pink dress and a wick at the top of her head, which will see her slowly melt to the ground once lit.

header image © urs fischer, photo by lucy dawkins, courtesy of gagosian and the artist
dasha,2018, images © urs fischer, photos by stefan altenburger, courtesy of gagosian and the artist



besides the wick at the top of dasha‘s head, fischer has strategically placed additional wicks all over her figure which will be lit until the sculpture burns completely and is reduced to a pile of wax drippings. over the course of almost two months, the oversized candle will slowly melt at gagosian‘s street window as a contemporary memento mori, reminding viewers of the impermanence of life, beauty, and art.



born in zurich in 1973, urs fischer began to make the candles in the early 2000s, and after a period of research into mold making and casting, his figures became more realistic and could burn for several months at a time. in 2011 he created ‘untitled’, a full-size replica of giambologna’s sculpture ‘the rape of the sabine women’ (1583), while in 2017, he cast a figure of florentine antique dealer fabrizio moretti in red wax and fused it with an oversize bust of st. leonard. wicks were placed on moretti’s figure in order to melt into the white bust, which remained intact and unburned, leaving a bloody wound across the patron saint of prisoners. the artist’s candle sculptures serve as both portraits and meditations on time and gravity, life and death, captivating viewers with their materiality and implications.


urs fischer: dasha is on view from 12 september to 3 november, 2018 at the gagosian gallery, davies street, london

untitled, 2011,wax, pigments, wicks, steel © urs fischer, photo by stefan altenburger

marsupiale (fabrizio), 2017, wax, steel, pigment, wicks© urs fischer, photo by stefan altenburger


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