Chaos and mess are all around us, forcing us to organize and clean space in a never-ending battle against entropy. Or, to put a more positive spin on the same concept: maybe organization is a way of gaining control and making sense of the world around us. Ursus Wehrli has conceded that no one can really ‘clean up’ a Jackson Pollock (short of returning the paint to its original cans), but Chagall, Seraut, Warhol and Klee are all fair game.
Beyond Kunst Aufrauemen (German for ‘Art Cleanup’), though, Ursus has applied his absurdist artistic touch to all kinds of other item collections, from pine tree branches and alphabet soups to park-going picnickers and automobile parking lots.
This playful and prolific individual has a series of books on the subject of organization and has also given great talks at conferences like TED discussing everything from modern art to intrepid perfectionism that transcends simply neat or tidy.
“‘Cleaning Up Art’ is the playfully absurd attempt to create clarity exactly where it makes the least sense! Ursus Wehrli rearranges abstract works of art in a clear and space-saving manner. Tidying up isn’t art – but tidying up is art.”
About Ursus Wehrli
“Ursus Wehrli, born in 1969, is left-handed, trained as a typographer and likes to change perspective. For 35 years he has been touring with Nadja Sieger as comedian duo URSUS & NADESCHKIN between Berg am Irchel, Basel, Berlin and New York and has received several awards in this constellation – most recently with the most renowned theater prize in Switzerland, the ‘Reinhart Ring’, the ” New York Comedy Award», the «Salzburger Stier» and the «Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis».”
“He lives as a stage artist, cabaret artist and freelance artist in Zurich. His books have now been translated into 17 languages and sold over half a million copies worldwide. He came up with the idea of tidying up art when he was surprised one morning while getting bread rolls at the beginning of winter and his ears were freezing.”