One of the most acclaimed artists of his generation, Thomas Schütte’s real and invented forms, often distorted and unsettling, explore themes of cultural memory, struggle and the impossible utopian ideal. The past and present of the history of sculpture collide in the artist’s work. His motifs which look seriously at the human condition find their form in expressive physiognomies and typologies. He modulates these repeatedly and, as in this exhibition, tests a wide variety of materials, scales and dimensions. The results are extensive series of works that reinvigorate figurative sculpture and update its classic subjects in the context of contemporary issues.
Schütte’s practice is non-linear. He explores and re-explores similar themes and imagery over time, leaving one series behind only to rework it later. The exhibition at Frith Street Gallery features a major new bronze sculpture, entitled Nixe (2021) this takes the form a gigantic mermaid, her optimistic upward reaching form hails from the same fantastic realm as his other monumental characters. The exhibition will also include glazed ceramic busts as well a previously unseen series of works in Murano glass.
Thomas Schütte was born in 1954 in Oldenburg, Germany; he lives and works in Düsseldorf.
His work was the subject of a recent exhibition at Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin. Other notable solo exhibitions include: Kunsthaus Bregenz, Germany (2019), and Monnaie de Paris (2019). His work has been the focus of three retrospectives held in Bonn (2010), Madrid (2010), and Munich (2009) and a major exhibition is scheduled to take place in late 2024 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Schütte’s work is included in the permanent collections of major international museums including: The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Tate, London; Dallas Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Thomas Schütte Press Release