The Tate Quietly Teams Up With Hyundai to Organize an Erwin Wurm Exhibition in Seoul

Meanwhile, the Austrian artist’s Hot Dog Bus will be open for business this summer in Brooklyn Bridge Park thanks to the Public Art Fund.

Erwin Wurm, Dumpling Car (2018), courtesy Erwin Wurm Studio.

The Tate’s partnership with Hyundai has helped finance some of its most ambitious projects. In recent years, Tate Modern has filled its vast Turbine Hall annually with major works by Philippe Parreno, Abraham Cruzvillegas, and Superflex, all supported by the South Korean carmaker. Tania Bruguera is preparing her own Hyundai Commission, which is due to be unveiled in London this fall.

But with much less fanfare—not even a press release—the Tate has also organized an exhibition in Seoul with the backing of the Korean company’s credit card business. The British gallery’s first major solo show of work by the artist Erwin Wurm opened on Wednesday in the South Korean capital. (The Tate, like the White House, keeps its Korean cards close to its chest.) 

Supported by Hyundai Card, “Erwin Wurm: One Minute Forever” features around 70 works by the Austrian artist, many lent by the Tate. The show also includes a new work, Dumpling Car, one of the artist’s trademark bloated automobiles—perhaps a characteristically droll comment on consumption given the show’s corporate sponsor and venue.

Erwin Wurm, photograph by Inge Prader, courtesy of Erwin Wurm Studio.

The exhibition takes place in Hyundai Card Storage, a cultural space in the center of Seoul run by Korean company. It represents a first in Asia for both Wurm and the Tate.

The big blue Dumpling Car was made especially for the show and finished just in time, a spokeswoman for the artist’s studio tells artnet News. Tate curators and Hyundai invited Wurm to create the show in partnership with his gallery Lehmann Maupin, she adds.

The Tate has never organized a major Wurm show in London but owns several works from the artist’s series “One Minute Sculptures,” which are also included in the show. In the series, Wurm gives the viewer instructions that allow him or her to become an absurdist work of art, if only for a minute.

In Double Bucket (1999), for example, he prompts you to stand in a bucket and place another your head. (Lehmann Maupin presented works from the series at Art Basel in Hong Kong last month.) Another work in the Korea show, From L to XXL in 8 Days (1993), invites visitors to become fat by snacking at night.

“The show is predominantly drawn from Tate’s collection and is an opportunity for us to showcase these works to a new audience in Korea,” says a Tate spokesman, adding that it is separate from Hyundai Motor’s sponsorship of the Turbine Hall commissions.

The Tate has no plans to bring Dumpling Car to London. For a taste of the artist’s work, Londoners will have to wait until spring 2019, when Thaddaeus Ropac is due to present Wurm’s first show in the capital since 2000.

Erwin Wurm, Curry Bus (2015), courtesy Erwin Wurm Studio.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, will be able to enjoy Wurm’s humorous work this summer. From June until the end of August, the Public Art Fund is parking his bloated Hot Dog Bus at various locations in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Free hot dogs will be served from the bright yellow, customized Volkswagen Microbus. “Hot Dog Bus is the US premiere of Curry Bus, reimagined for New York, and will create an absurd, yet approachable sculptural experience encouraging visitors to challenge the fundamental definitions of art,” according to a statement by the Public Art Fund. The project is organized by the fund’s associate curator Daniel S. Palmer.

“Erwin Wurm: One Minute Forever,” runs from April 18 through to September 9 at Hyundai Card Storage in Seoul.

“Hot Dog Bus” runs from June 9 through  August 26 at various venues in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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