Peter Fischli, David Weiss Snowman 1987/2016

  • Not on view

Though a snowman is, as Fischli observes, a “sculpture that almost anyone can make,” this one is dependent on a technically complex apparatus in order to exist year-round. To create the figure, humidity was pumped into the freezer, which then condensed around a three-part copper mold. This sculpture is an updated version of one commissioned in 1987 by a thermic power plant in Saarbrücken, Germany. For that sculpture, excess energy was siphoned from the plant to keep the snowman frozen. MoMA’s Snowman runs on a 4000 Btu compressor and consumes energy at roughly the same rate as a small window-unit air conditioner like those used in domestic settings.

Gallery label from 2023
Copper, aluminum, glass, water, and coolant system
85 13/16 × 50 3/8 × 64 15/16" (218 × 128 × 165 cm)
The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation (by exchange), and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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