Snowman visits Brisbane this summer


This December come face to frosty face with an incredible, out-of-season snowman. Trapped within icy confines, Snowman 1987/2017–19 is a frozen sculpture by leading contemporary artists and collaborators Peter Fischli and David Weiss. An unexpected sight, the Snowman will be out-of-place in Brisbane’s summer heat, however we anticipate the sculpture will become a much-loved citizen and visitor favourite.

Tickets to ‘Water’ now on sale

Far from its Swiss origins in subtropical Queensland, audiences to our major ‘Water’ exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) will meet Snowman, safely preserved. QAGOMA has recently acquired this major artwork for its Collection, and will be premiering Snowman for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere from 7 December 2019 until 26 April 2020.

GOMA will become home to one of only four sculptures created, putting Brisbane in an exclusive club with MoMA, New York.

Contained within its freezer as if an endangered species, the expression of Snowman will shift over time as its smile and eyes are re-traced by hand every few days. As different fingers trace their mark, the face fluctuates between smiling and happy to more diabolical or even quizzical expressions. The anthropoid figure has long captured the public imagination and at GOMA in the context of ‘Water’ Snowman prompts us to think about issues such as global warming and climate change.

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Snowman visits Brisbane

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Snowman features along with many other works by leading international and Australian artists in GOMAs major exhibition exploring the cultural, ecological and political significance of one of life’s most vital elements.

In addition to Snowman, visitors to ‘Water’ will encounter Megan Cope’s RE-FORMATION, an imposing mound of cast concrete oyster shells; explore Olafur Eliasson’s vast Riverbed landscape featuring more than 100 tonnes of rock through which a stream of water flows; view Cai Guo-Qiang’s Heritage, a waterhole surrounded by 45 life-size animals, a moment of apparent harmony where predator and prey gather to drink together; and navigate William Forsythe’s The Fact of Matter, a cloud of suspended gymnastic rings to navigate rising tidelines. 

Buy the publication

The accompanying Water publication is an indispensable guide to this major exhibition, featuring informative texts on each artist included as well as thought-provoking essays on water’s role in evolution and the challenges to natural resources posed by climate change.  Pre-order today.

Join us at GOMA

Explore this precious resource which sustains all forms of life on Earth when ‘Water’ opens this summer from 7 December 2019 until 26 April 2020. We hope it will spark conversations about the environmental and the social challenges we face today.

The animals are gathering

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Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s Snowman has been acquired with the support of Tim Fairfax AC, whose ongoing benefaction has helped build an exceptional collection of international contemporary art.

Feature image detail: Peter Fischli, Switzerland b. 1952 and David Weiss, Switzerland 1946-2012 / Snowman 1987/2017–19 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artists / Courtesy: Peter Fischli and Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Cai Guo-Qiang, China b.1957 / Heritage 2013 / Life-sized replicas of animals: polystyrene, gauze, resin and hide / Commissioned 2013 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Cai Guo-Qiang.