Any dough for a bread house when paintings rule?

Lifestyle

Any dough for a bread house when paintings rule?

Dealer to present novel construction at Art Basel, with an asking price ‘in the range of $3m’

James Tarmy

In 2004, artist Urs Fischer started to build prototypes of a 5m-high gingerbread-style house made from about 2,500 loaves of bread. It was a process, he says, filled with trial and error: binding agents including marzipan and raw dough were attempted and discarded (too unstable), until he discovered polyurethane foam was the ideal mortar.

The house was constructed on an outdoor lot in Vienna, where eventually the daily delivery of dumpsters filled with bread began to draw attention from passers-by. Their reaction, to Fischer’s surprise, was a combination of incredulity and outrage. “Austria’s a very Catholic country,” he said, “and everyone there thought the bread was somehow about the body of Christ.”

But when he exhibited the work, called Untitled (Bread House) at New York gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, “the discussion there was all about carbohydrates”, Fischer said. “At which point, I gave up with whatever it ‘should’ be about.”..

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