Humanizing Objects

Think of the smooth sensual shape of a Henry Moore sculpture, the cushiness of a soft Kid Robot designer toy and a cartoonish playfulness and you might want to tickle your way to the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts(HVCCA). There you’ll chuckle, and, at the same time, thoughtfully ponder, as I did, the funky humanistic, organic creations that are the current work of artist R.M. Fischer in an exhibition called Circa 1986 Redux. An earlier piece of Fischer’s work is on view with 65 other artists in Circa 1986.

Fischer was on his way to a career in medicine before he found something he could be passionate about–art, which he says “Saved me”. He did an about-face, apprenticed to a stone sculptor and then headed to the San Francisco Art Institute for an MFA. Now in his Gowanus studio, he conjures up these abstract, organic-looking, anthropomorphic sculptures made of fabric, felt and vinyl sewn-together parts combined with metal parts.  Taken as a whole, they are in reality abstract sculptures, but if the spirit moves you, feel free to humanize them as lovable, unusual creatures from another world.

Fischer started humanizing objects in the 80’s using lamps as a metaphor for what he saw as industrial ambiguity. The “lamp” assemblages, made of mixing bowls and plumbing parts, were exhibited in art galleries and in Bloomingdales’ windows, creating a buzz in both art and design worlds. It was just the sort of ambiguity that never fails to intrigue him. As for his interest in those soft weird pillows and ugly dolls as inspiration for his current work, as with everything else within his artistic sights, he keeps questioning their identity and forming his ideas around those new age, futuristic organic- shaped abstractions on view at HVCCA until July 29th. Just incase you are on vacation and miss the show, Fischer’s work is in many museum collections including the Whitney, MOMA and the Brooklyn Museum.

A darling of the public art movement in New York and Los Angeles, his monumental works “Rector Gate” at the Battery Park Esplanade and “Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Clock” at the Manhattan Plaza Ventilation Building can both be seen in Lower Manhattan.

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