Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill | David Zwirner

Andra Ursuţa

Void Fill

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Andra Ursuţa (b. 1979), on view at the gallery’s Paris location. This will be the Romanian-born, New York–based artist’s debut solo presentation with David Zwirner since the gallery announced representation in July 2020, and her first solo exhibition in France.

 

Over the past decade, Ursuţa has gained recognition for her inventive sculptural work that mines the darker undercurrents of contemporary society. Drawing from memory, nostalgia, art history, and popular culture and employing a variety of media, the artist transforms commonplace objects and materials into viscerally evocative sculptures and installations that give new, redemptive form to subjective experience.

The exhibition will feature a group of new cast-glass sculptures that build upon a body of work the artist debuted at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. To create these figures, Ursuţa pushes everyday objects to their conceptual and physical limits in an elaborate process of duress and transformation. 

 

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Video: Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill, David Zwirner, Paris, 2021. Video by Pushpin Films

Dates
September 4October 9, 2021
Artist

Known for her uniquely innovative sculpture, Andra Ursuţa moved to New York from her native Romania in 1999. Attuned as much to history, cultural inheritance, religion, and rupture as to disposable products, irony, and discomfort, her work is also technically masterful. The glass sculptures on view in this exhibition are from a series that debuted at the 2019 Venice Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff. Andra Ursuţa: Alps, the artist’s critically acclaimed first museum solo exhibition in New York, was curated by Massimiliano Gioni at the New Museum in 2016. Her work has also been presented internationally, including solo shows at Kunsthalle Basel (2015), Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2014–2015), and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014).

A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Predators 'R Us, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Predators 'R Us, 2020
Lead crystal
29 x 27 x 52 inches (73.7 x 68.6 x 132.1 cm)

“There is a stratification of references to the past and the future that makes Andra’s sculptures incredibly unique. There is this tension between an imagination of what is to come and a fictional construction of one’s own origins.”

—Massimiliano Gioni

A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (intestines), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Canopic Jerrycan, 2021
Lead crystal
31 x 13 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches (78.7 x 34.9 x 54 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Yoga Don't Help, dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Yoga Don't Help, 2021
Lead crystal and soda-lime glass
51 1/4 x 23 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches (130.2 x 60.3 x 52.7 cm)
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Succubustin' Loose, dated 2020.
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Succubustin' Loose, dated 2020.
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Succubustin' Loose, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Succubustin' Loose, 2020
Lead crystal
44 3/4 x 17 7/8 x 12 inches (113.7 x 45.4 x 30.5 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (lungs), dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Canopic Demijohn, 2020
Lead crystal and soda-lime glass
30 1/2 x 15 7/8 x 16 inches (77.5 x 40.3 x 40.6 cm)

“I prefer to look at art from different historical periods. The intricacies of decorative work are really interesting to me.… [Historical artifacts] can capture life that is so real, more so than contemporary art. You really feel the pain.… Mummies, especially, are instances of ancient science fiction to me. You move to the afterlife. Then you see these sarcophagi and they look like space ships.”

—Andra Ursuţa, Zoo magazine, 2015

A photo of a sculpture called The Dying Gaul.

The Dying Gaul, Roman copy after a sculpture situated in the Pergamon Acropolis. Photo by DEA /G. NIMATALLAH/Getty Images

The Dying Gaul, Roman copy after a sculpture situated in the Pergamon Acropolis. Photo by DEA /G. NIMATALLAH/Getty Images

Thutmose, Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti, c. 1340 BCE. Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection/Neues Museum, Berlin

Thutmose, Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti, c. 1340 BCE. Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection/Neues Museum, Berlin

Left: Glass double head flask, Late Imperial, 3rd–4th century A.D., Roman. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917; Right: Mummy with an Inserted Panel Portrait of a Youth, Roman period (80-100 BCE). Rogers Fund, 1911

Left: Glass double head flask, Late Imperial, 3rd–4th century A.D., Roman. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917; Right: Mummy with an Inserted Panel Portrait of a Youth, Roman period (80-100 BCE). Rogers Fund, 1911

Clemente Susini, La Venere Smontabile (The Dismantable Venus), anatomical model (wax), c. 18th century. Museo della Specola, Florence, Italy. Photo by Raffaello Bencini

Clemente Susini, La Venere Smontabile (The Dismantable Venus), anatomical model (wax), c. 18th century. Museo della Specola, Florence, Italy. Photo by Raffaello Bencini

H.R. Giger behind the scenes photo during the filming of Alien, 1979 

H.R. Giger behind the scenes photo during the filming of Alien, 1979 

Egyptian Mummy at The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Egyptian Mummy at The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Left: Venus of Willendorf, c. 24,000-22,000 BCE; Right: Statuette of Woman, 14th–12th censure BCE. Louvre, Paris. Photo by Josse / Bridgeman Images

Left: Venus of Willendorf, c. 24,000-22,000 BCE; Right: Statuette of Woman, 14th–12th censure BCE. Louvre, Paris. Photo by Josse / Bridgeman Images

Left: Novelty Whiskey bottle; Right: Glass Fish, Kitsch Museum, Bucharest. Credit: Daniel Mihailescu

Left: Novelty Whiskey bottle; Right: Glass Fish, Kitsch Museum, Bucharest. Credit: Daniel Mihailescu

A photo of Canopic jars belonging to Djedbastetefankh, from his tomb at Hawara, Late Period, dated c.380–342 BC.

Canopic jars belonging to Djedbastetefankh, from his tomb at Hawara, Late Period, c.380–342 BC. © Ashmolean Museum / Bridgeman Images

Canopic jars belonging to Djedbastetefankh, from his tomb at Hawara, Late Period, c.380–342 BC. © Ashmolean Museum / Bridgeman Images

Left: Herm of Dionysos, 200–100BC, front view. Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, inv. 79.AB.138; Right: Design for a Stained Glass Window with Terminus, 1525

Left: Herm of Dionysos, 200–100BC, front view. Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, inv. 79.AB.138; Right: Design for a Stained Glass Window with Terminus, 1525

“Memory, death, the human condition, and the absurdity and irony of life are all inspirations for the artist. Her work is ripe with emotion and contradictions—pathos and humor, melancholy and hope, raw and refined, hard and soft, aggressive and tender. It’s at times vulgar and political, poignant and wry, exotic and familiar.”

—Ali Subotnick, essay for Hammer Projects: Andra Ursuţa, 2014

Andra Ursuţa

Impersonal Growth, 2020
Lead crystal
26 3/8 x 21 1/2 x 7 inches (67 x 54.6 x 17.8 cm)
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Impersonal growth, dated 2020.
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Impersonal growth, dated 2020.

“There’s the element of studio trash, and then there’s the cultural trash. There’s a lot of fake scary props that are processed into the sculptures.… The throwaway, cheap props that the culture uses to express its fear—I love to use those kinds of things.… Through these very elaborate processes, I can turn them into something that’s going to last for a very long time. That’s the idea, to take something very low culture and treat it with reverence.”

—Andra Ursuţa

An installation view of an exhibition titled Andra Ursuta: Void Fill at David Zwirner, Paris, in 2021.

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill, David Zwirner, Paris, 2021

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill, David Zwirner, Paris, 2021

A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Half-Drunk Mummy, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Half-Drunk Mummy, 2020
Lead crystal
63 x 33 1/2 x 19 inches (160 x 85.1 x 48.3 cm)

“The hollow statues, with their crystal flesh stained glacial blue and absinthe green, seemed to emit their own icy light, as though Ursuţa had bottled the aurora borealis.”

—Zoë Lescaze, Artforum, 2020

A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (skeleton hands), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Phantom Mass, 2021
Lead crystal
43 1/2 x 18 1/4 x 20 5/8 inches (110.5 x 46.4 x 52.4 cm)
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Phantom Mass, dated 2021.
A detail from a work by Andra Ursuta, titled Phantom Mass, dated 2021.
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (handles), dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Void Fill Carboy, 2020
Lead crystal
30 1/4 x 24 x 19 inches (76.8 x 61 x 48.3 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (buckle), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Terminal Figure, 2021
Lead crystal
40 3/4 x 19 x 11 1/2 inches (103.5 x 48.3 x 29.2 cm)
An installation view of an exhibition titled Andra Ursuta: Void Fill at David Zwirner, Paris, in 2021.

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill, David Zwirner, Paris, 2021

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Void Fill, David Zwirner, Paris, 2021

In 2020, Ursuţa began working on a series of photograms. Collectively titled False Hope, these works draw on the notions of chance and transformation that have come to define the artist’s practice. Printed using photoreactive dye and Halloween props, a recurring image emerges, apparition-like, from a velvet surface.

A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
45 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (114.9 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 48 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (123.2 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)

“I really wish I were the maker of the Shroud of Turin.”


—Andra Ursuţa in conversation with Maurizio Cattelan, Purple magazine, 2015

A mixed media artwork by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
51 3/8 x 35 1/4 inches (130.5 x 89.5 cm)
Framed: 54 1/2 x 38 3/8 inches (138.4 x 97.5 cm)

Ursuţa’s photograms recall nineteenth-century spirit photography and acheiropoieta—“made without hands”—Christian icons which are said to have come into existence miraculously. A skeletal hand alludes to the historical trope of the triumph of Death, immortalized in the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and others.

A detail from a photo of the Shroud of Turin.

Central detail of the Shroud of Turin showing the face (left). Photo by Marco Destefanis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Central detail of the Shroud of Turin showing the face (left). Photo by Marco Destefanis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

A photo of a sculpture called The Veiled Christ, Giuseppe Sanmartino, dated 1753.

The Veiled Christ, Giuseppe Sanmartino, 1753. Museo Cappella San Severo, Italy

The Veiled Christ, Giuseppe Sanmartino, 1753. Museo Cappella San Severo, Italy

A detail from a painting called the “ Triumph of Death “ in Abbatellis Palace fresco by an anonymous Catalan painter, dated 1446.

Anonymous Catalan painter, Triumph of Death, in Abbatellis Palace fresco, Sicily Palermo, 1446 (detail). Contributor: Realy Easy Star / Alamy Stock Photo

Anonymous Catalan painter, Triumph of Death, in Abbatellis Palace fresco, Sicily Palermo, 1446 (detail). Contributor: Realy Easy Star / Alamy Stock Photo

A detail from a painting of the Turin Shroud.

Giovanni Battista della Rovere, Burial of Jesus (detail), Turin Royal Museum, Italy. Photo: The Picture Art Collection / Alamy Stock Photo Photo

Giovanni Battista della Rovere, Burial of Jesus (detail), Turin Royal Museum, Italy. Photo: The Picture Art Collection / Alamy Stock Photo Photo

A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
54 3/8 x 39 1/8 inches (138.1 x 99.4 cm)
Framed: 57 1/2 x 42 3/8 x 3 inches (146.1 x 107.6 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
53 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (135.3 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 56 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (143.5 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
45 1/4 x 37 1/8 inches (114.9 x 94.3 cm)
Framed: 48 1/2 x 40 3/8 x 3 inches (123.2 x 102.6 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
53 1/4 x 37 1/8 inches 1(35.3 x 94.3 cm)
Framed: 56 3/8 x 40 x 3 inches (143.2 x 101.6 x 7.6 cm)

Ursuţa’s cast-glass sculptures result from an elaborate process of duress and transformation. The artist combines 3D scans of casts of her own body with cheap props, BDSM garments, “void fill” packaging, bottles, and other materials, finally casting them in semitranslucent glass. “It’s a process that confuses the moment in technology that created it,” she says, “fusing both new and old techniques.”

an installation view of works by Andra Ursuta at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

Andra Ursuţa, installation view, May You Live In Interesting Times, 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2019

Andra Ursuţa, installation view, May You Live In Interesting Times, 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2019

An installation view of an exhibition titled Andra Ursuta: Alps, at the New Museum in 2016.

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Alps, New Museum, New York, 2016

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Alps, New Museum, New York, 2016

An installation view of an exhibition titled Andra Ursuta: Whites at Kunsthalle Basel in 2015.

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Whites, Kunsthalle Basel, 2015

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: Whites, Kunsthalle Basel, 2015

An installation view of an exhibition by Andra Ursuta, titled As I lay Drying, at ICA Miami in 2016.

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: As I Lay Drying, ICA Miami, 2016

Installation view, Andra Ursuţa: As I Lay Drying, ICA Miami, 2016

An installation view of works by Andra Ursuta at the Venice biennale in 2013.

Andra Ursuţa, installation view, The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013

Andra Ursuţa, installation view, The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013

A portrait of Andra Ursuta in 2020.

Andra Ursuţa, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

Andra Ursuţa, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

Inquire about works by Andra Ursuţa

A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Predators 'R Us, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Predators 'R Us, 2020
Lead crystal
29 x 27 x 52 inches (73.7 x 68.6 x 132.1 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (intestines), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Canopic Jerrycan, 2021
Lead crystal
31 x 13 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches (78.7 x 34.9 x 54 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Yoga Don't Help, dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Yoga Don't Help, 2021
Lead crystal and soda-lime glass
51 1/4 x 23 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches (130.2 x 60.3 x 52.7 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Succubustin' Loose, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Succubustin' Loose, 2020
Lead crystal
44 3/4 x 17 7/8 x 12 inches (113.7 x 45.4 x 30.5 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (lungs), dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Canopic Demijohn, 2020
Lead crystal and soda-lime glass
30 1/2 x 15 7/8 x 16 inches (77.5 x 40.3 x 40.6 cm)

Andra Ursuţa

Impersonal Growth, 2020
Lead crystal
26 3/8 x 21 1/2 x 7 inches (67 x 54.6 x 17.8 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled Half-Drunk Mummy, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Half-Drunk Mummy, 2020
Lead crystal
63 x 33 1/2 x 19 inches (160 x 85.1 x 48.3 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (skeleton hands), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Phantom Mass, 2021
Lead crystal
43 1/2 x 18 1/4 x 20 5/8 inches (110.5 x 46.4 x 52.4 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (handles), dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

Void Fill Carboy, 2020
Lead crystal
30 1/4 x 24 x 19 inches (76.8 x 61 x 48.3 cm)
A sculpture by Andra Ursuta, titled To be confirmed (buckle), dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

Terminal Figure, 2021
Lead crystal
40 3/4 x 19 x 11 1/2 inches (103.5 x 48.3 x 29.2 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
50 1/4 x 35 1/4 inches (127.6 x 89.5 cm)
Framed: 53 3/8 x 38 x 3 inches (135.6 x 96.5 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2021.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2021
Photoreactive dye on velvet
51 x 38 inches (29.5 x 96.5 cm)
Framed: 54 3/8 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (138.1 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
47 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (120 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 50 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (128.3 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
50 3/8 x 38 1/8 inches (128 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 53 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (135.9 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
53 1/4 x 37 1/8 inches 1(35.3 x 94.3 cm)
Framed: 56 3/8 x 40 x 3 inches (143.2 x 101.6 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
54 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (137.8 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 57 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (146.1 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
Signed and dated verso
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
54 3/8 x 39 1/8 inches (138.1 x 99.4 cm)
Framed: 57 1/2 x 42 3/8 x 3 inches (146.1 x 107.6 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
45 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (114.9 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 48 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (123.2 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
53 1/4 x 38 1/8 inches (135.3 x 96.8 cm)
Framed: 56 1/2 x 41 3/8 x 3 inches (143.5 x 105.1 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
45 1/4 x 37 1/8 inches (114.9 x 94.3 cm)
Framed: 48 1/2 x 40 3/8 x 3 inches (123.2 x 102.6 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
51 3/8 x 35 1/4 inches (130.5 x 89.5 cm)
Framed: 54 1/2 x 38 3/8 inches (138.4 x 97.5 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
54 3/8 x 40 1/4 inches (138.1 x 102.2 cm)
Framed: 57 1/2 x 43 3/8 x 3 inches (146.1 x 110.2 x 7.6 cm)
A mixed media work by Andra Ursuta, titled False Hope, dated 2020.

Andra Ursuţa

False Hope, 2020
Photoreactive dye on velvet
52 1/4 x 36 1/8 inches (132.7 x 91.8 cm)
Framed: 55 1/2 x 39 1/8 x 3 inches (141 x 99.4 x 7.6 cm)
Signed and dated verso

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