When Erwin Wurm applied to study at the Vienna Academy his ambition was to be a painter, but after submitting the required work in painting and sculpture, he was accepted into the sculpture program. Initially frustrated by the decision, he soon began to confront the questions of “What are the fundamental qualities of sculpture? What can it be? What does it mean today?” Not surprisingly, his early work examined the relationship between sculpture and painting. He came to understand both paint and cast metals as a kind of “skin,” which led to his use of clothing as a material in his early work. In more recent sculptures he renders the common everyday objects that define us, our clothing, houses and cars, simultaneously menacing, sinister and funny through a process of “addition and subtraction.”

Erwin Wurm currently lives and works in Vienna and Limburg, Austria.

His works are included in numerous collections worldwide including The Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Centre Pompidou and Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.

Erwin Wurm chooses everyday objects as the subject of his work in an attempt to inspire viewers to question both the traditional definition of sculpture and their relationship to the world. Big Suit plays with our perception of volume, one of the basic elements of sculpture, by creating an outer shell of cast aluminum that defines the mass we imagine inside the pink suit. Through the use of unexpected color and monumental scale the artist provides a powerful commentary on fragility of the individual and the way the material world shapes our self-image.



Big Suit, 2010
Painted Aluminum
118″ x 51″ x 29″