Tuesday January 7, 2020
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Unveils Life-Size Snowman Sculpture
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Unveils Life-Size Snowman Sculpture

exterior of the CMA building


Cleveland (January 7, 2020) — A sculpture composed of a snowman encased in a freezer is on view now in the Ames Family Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Snowman, first constructed by Swiss artists Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946–2012) in 1987, when they were commissioned by a German power plant to create a site-specific work, is a frost-coated copper sculpture filled with water. The box encasing it creates a microclimate that is kept humid; over time, condensed water collects on the surface of the form and freezes, transforming the copper base into a snowman.

The surprise of encountering a snowman inside the museum gestures to recurring tensions in Fischli and Weiss’s practice—between the fleeting and permanent, the natural and artificial. It is also an indication of the playfulness that is a hallmark of their work. Snowman is a generous temporary loan from the Scott Mueller family. It’s on view through Sunday, September 6, 2020. 

Image caption: 

Snowman, 1987/2016. Peter Fischli (Swiss, b. 1952) and David Weiss (Swiss, 1946–2012). Copper, aluminum, glass, water, coolant system; 218 x 128 x 165 cm (85 7/8 x 50 3/8 x 65 inches). © Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. Lent by the S. Mueller Family


Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261