A Life-Size Rhinoceros Sculpture by Urs Fischer Will Go Up in Manhattan

Posted May 13, 2018 4:33 p.m. EDT

NEW YORK — A rhinoceros will soon be on view in midtown Manhattan — a life-size aluminum rhinoceros, that is, from which a tire, a copier, a vacuum cleaner and other human artifacts sprout in all directions.

The Gagosian Gallery will unveil the sculpture, a new piece by Urs Fischer titled “Things,” on Tuesday at 511 Fifth Ave., a disused bank building northeast of Bryant Park, where the work will stay through June 23.

According to a statement, the piece “considers the ways that objects and forces — from plastic bottles and Wi-Fi signals to memories, history and emotion — gather around and pass through our bodies as we move through the world.”

In an interview, Fischer described the development of the work as an “eight-year process, that comes out of feeling and thoughts and then moves gradually into different objects or different forms that it can take, and then forms get changed out.”

“It was not always a rhino,” he added.

For the Swiss-born artist, the choice of subject included an element of serendipity: “It happened by accident.” He said, “I just saw a rhino and was like, ‘That’s my protagonist that I’ve looked for for years.'”

But the decision to ground the sculpture in the massive animal was not arbitrary: The rhino “looks like it comes from somewhere in the past and moves into the present while the other things are all man-made objects.”

When asked about the choice of exhibition site, Fischer said, “I like the idea more and more of exposing artworks to more of the world than the white room” of a gallery.

The installation of “Things” coincides with “Sotatsu,” an exhibition of new paintings by Fischer, also open until June 23, at the Gagosian Gallery on the Upper East Side.