Artist Erwin Wurm’s European Homes Are Full of Midcentury Treasures

A sculptor who once sold dust to a museum for around $15,000 has lately turned his eye to designing homes across Greece and Austria

Building Construction, Residential Building Construction

12/6/2021 12:45:00 AM

A sculptor who once sold dust to a museum for around $15,000 has lately turned his eye to designing homes across Greece and Austria

The Austrian artist has redefined the possibilities of sculpture while designing one-of-a-kind homes across Greece and Austria. See inside.

By| Photography by Martien Mulder for WSJ. MagazineDec. 5, 2021 8:30 am ETFirst Erwin Wurm made a fat house. Then he made a narrow house. Then he made a house that was just right—several houses, actually.Fat House(2003) andNarrow House(2010) are two of the sculptures that have brought the Austrian artist fame and fortune as a kind of Till Eulenspiegel of the art world—a visual trickster who messes with your mind in ways both playful and oddly unsettling. The just-right houses are the ones he made for himself to live in.

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One of his fat house pieces is sitting on a hill when Wurm, 67, pulls into the compound of large sheds where he fabricates his sculptures, a short drive from Vienna in the village of Limberg. Its white walls bulge and sag under a red-tiled roof, like jowls on a pudgy face. Wurm made his first fat house in 2003 to skewer society’s insatiable appetites, but it’s more funny than angry. Wurm is a showman, not a prophet, which is partly why museum crowds love him. You can find his work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Centre Pompidou and the Guggenheim, among a long list of museums. (The fat house on the hill in Limberg is waiting to be packed up and shipped off for an exhibition.)

Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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