October 29 - December 19, 2009

opening reception: Thursday October 29, 6 - 8 pm

KS Art presents recent sculpture by R.M. Fischer announcing a distinctive, new direction for the New York-based artist. Breaking with the functionalism of his earlier industrial assemblages and public sculpture, Fischer's new combinations of hard and soft forms turns utilitarian character on its head with the artist's baroque additions of fetish-like amalgamations of figures. The new soft additions of organic shapes are crafted out of colorful vinyl, felt, and upholstery sewn together with thread and stuffed into large, fetish-like appendages fastened to his familiar, machine-like constructions crafted out of steel, aluminum and brass. The artistŐs combination of the soft and the hard--but particularly the re-combinations of the cut-and-sewn elements--creates a replicating army of fleshy machines suggestive of what William S. Burroughs called the human body: namely, "the soft machine."

Just as Burroughs created novels by cutting up fragments of prior texts, Fischer's work is similarly composed of cartoon-like elements, evoking softly armored bodies: cut-and-sewn parts suggesting body parts, tattooed, pierced, and adorned with metal amulets. Deploying on the one hand a Pop palette together with seemingly upbeat, cartoon-inspired figures and forms, the artist's multiplications of orifices, tongues, and other fetishes, however, now place polymorphous perversity at the very heart the artist's enterprise where utilitarian functionality once reigned supreme. This turn of the screw, at once more playful and more menacing, explores the dark and re-duplicative mechanics of popular culture and its sexual underbelly.

This is R.M. Fischer's first one-person exhibition at KS Art. For the past twenty-five years, Fischer has been blurring the lines between art, architecture and design. Fischer is acclaimed for his monumental site-specific public art commissions. The public sculptures, "Rector Gate" and "Battery Tunnel Clock" can be seen in lower-Manhattan. His most notable public work is the Kansas City "Sky Stations" which crowns the convention center and shapes the skyline of city. R.M. Fischer has had over 30 solo exhibitions, including an exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1984. His work is included numerous public collections including, The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Art Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Carnegie Museum of Fine Art and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.