David Weiss of Fischli/Weiss Has Died


A.i.A. has confirmed that David Weiss, half of the artist-duo Fischli/Weiss, died this morning, age 66. According to his New York gallery Matthew Marks, Weiss had been undergoing treatment for cancer since September of last year. “It was more advanced than anyone realized,” said gallery director Stephanie Dorsey.

The prolific Swiss artists have collaborated on films, photos, slide projections, sculptures and artists books since 1979. Known for their DIY spirit, the pair incorporated any material that crossed their paths—from foodstuffs to magazine ads, old furniture to touristy snapshots—into their multidisciplinary projects.

Fischli/Weiss’s first project together was the 1979 series “Sausage Photographs,” in which the artists designed scenes like a carpet-shopping excursion and the aftermath of a car crash using carefully arranged and occasionally anthropomorphic cocktail wieners, mini gherkins, sliced lunchmeat and smoldering cigarette butts.

One of their most beloved projects is the playful, complex 30-minute film The Way Things Go (1987), a Rube Goldberg-esque chain reaction of everyday objects falling into each other, occasionally leading to small fires or explosions.

More recently, in 2009–10, Fischli/Weiss had three simultaneous shows at Matthew Marks’s Chelsea galleries, which included Sun, Moon and Stars, a new installation of over 800 advertisements culled from international magazines.

Photo: David Weiss on right