Roni Horn’s colorful, liquid-like glass sculptures have long been a staple at Hauser & Wirth’s art fair booths, and it’s easy to see why. They look like big gumdrops and change drastically when viewed from up close, compared to at a distance—just the thing to draw in anyone wandering by.
But at Art Basel Miami Beach this year, Hauser & Wirth has hired two booth workers to make sure that the appealing four-footer they’ve brought this time around is not touched or brushed.
“A wedding ring could scratch it,” said Senior Director Neil Wenman. “It looks like water so it’s very appealing to touch the surface, but you can’t.”
Perhaps surprising was how hard these two young men had to work. Gallery publicist Andrea Schwan stood nearby the sculpture herself and warned people with bags brushing by.
Both Wenman and Schwan were sure to emphasize that the sculptures are certainly durable enough for any collector’s home: it’s simply that art-fair visitors tend to get handsy.
“Some people were just raised by wolves,” Schwan said. “We had one in Paris? Somebody licked it.”