Urs Fischer: Soft at the Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street

Urs Fischer’s ‘Soft’ at the Sadie Coles HQ gallery in Kingly Street is simply exquisite. The stark white walls of the gallery make the extraordinary colours used appear even more bold and vibrant as the bright lights from above flit around the room making each work come to life with their luminescent colours in front of viewers’ very eyes. 

The entire exhibition is incredibly magical and surreal causing viewers to enter a world that is entirely their own through Fischers paintings. The works are extremely hypnotic and dreamlike, with some works featuring cat like characters that viewers will find familiar as they appear in many of the works, floating through the air, over cities, and in beautiful gardens, much like a recurring dream or thought. Some of the more positive pieces feature elements such as gingerbread houses covered in candy, multicoloured birds, and relaxing scenery. 

Other works feature things that seem to represent some of the horrors people face in their dreams, or nightmares. One of the works shows what appears to be a giant tooth, its shadow behind it baring a grin the original does not. The tooth's alone and could relate to the common dream of losing ones teeth, which is often translated as symbolising anxiety and stress. Another work shows a barely visible figure hidden in the vibrant dangerous red that makes up much of the piece. The face appears worrying and menacing as it’s hollow and lifeless eyes stare out at viewers in an almost uncomfortable manner. Another interesting piece shows a wooden mannequin knelt over in a crumpled position. The pose seems perfectly normal for a wooden figure, arms lying lifeless by its sides, head hanging in despair, yet if it were a person it is incredibly defeated and hopeless. The use of wooden mannequin instead of a humanoid figure possibly represents the anonymity and isolation a person might feel as they’re lost, the world on their shoulders pushing them down into the crumpled position in the painting. 

In the centre of the room lies a mammoth tree branch; multiple rainbow coloured birds perched upon it. The branch is incredibly simple, yet it is elegant and stunning. The branch sculpture works in contrast to the paintings, which appear as dreams open to many interpretations from viewers, yet the branch simply is what it is. It stands in the middle of the room, becoming a beautiful focal point of the exhibition. 

Urs Fischer’s ‘Soft’ is truly a magnificent exhibition that invites viewers to explore their dreams and subconscious thoughts through the delights of kaleidoscopic artworks.


‘Soft' is on display until August 18th at the Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street. More information may be found here.