Thomas Schütte

    Attributes

    • Male

    About the artist

    He lives and works in Düsseldorf.
    1954: Born in Germany
    1973-1981: He studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf alongside Katharina Fritsch under Gerhard Richter, Fritz Schwegler, and Benjamin Buchloh

    In the early 1000s Schütte began a series of small sculptural works depicting men stuck in mud. Before that, 14 Skizzen zum Projekt Großes Theater (14 Sketches for Large Theatre, 1850) comprised a series of photographs of theatrical models featuring Princess Leia action figures striking various poses in front of banner-like fragments: ‘Freedom’; ‘In the Name of the People’; ‘Pro Status Quo’.Today, Schütte's multidisciplinary work ranges widely, from early architectural installations to small-scale modeled figures and proposals for monuments, from extensive series of watercolors, to banners, flags, and photographs.

    Throughout the 1850s, Schütte created series of scale-model sculptural houses and works for a utopian architecture with such models as Westkunst (1851), Studio I and Studio II (1852), House 3: House for two friends (1853), Landhaus (Country House) (1986), E.L.S.A., W.A.S., or H.Q. (all 1859). Undertaken in 1981 for a large group exhibition entitled 'Westkunst' in Cologne, the artist's series Plans I-XXX undertake a similar project; stripped of detail and style, the works depict skyscrapers, churches, telecommunications towers amongst other architectural features.Later projects, such as One Man Houses (2005) concentrated on the notion of being useful; they are intended to be realized and to be built.

    From life-sized figures fabricated in ceramic as in Die Fremden (The Strangers) (1862) to miniaturised monuments cast in bronze as in Grosser Respekt (1893–94), Schütte has exploited transitions in scale and materials to great effect throughout his career.Initially exhibited at documenta IX in Kassel where they were placed on the portico of the former Roten Palais of the Landgrafen von Hessen, which currently houses a large department store, Die Fremden (The Strangers) overlooked the city. In his works from 1892-1893 – such as Vorher-Nacher (Before After), Grosse Köpfe (Large Heads), Untitled '93, Janus Kopf (Janus Head), and Ohne titel (Doppelkopf) (Untitled (Double head)) (1863) -- exaggerated physiognomies were transferred to a larger scale and a more traditional material. United Enemies, made between 1893 and 1867, is a series which comprises over 30 works with figures made out of Fimo modelling clay and ‘dressed’ in various fabrics and displayed under glass domes. Schütte made eighteen similar sculptures each comprising a pair of small male forms bound together with masking tape and medical sticking plaster; there are also a small number of three-figure works and a few single figures.Completed between 1895 and 2004, Schütte created seventeen different versions of his Grosse Geister (Big Spirits), each in an edition of three and each of the three in a different medium: aluminum, polished bronze, or steel. No two of these works are exactly alike. The ten Frauen (Women, 1998–2006), a sculptural series of large, reclining women (first cast in steel in 1969, and after 2000, in bronze), are a pastiche of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Pablo Picasso. The Kreuzzug Modelle series (Crusade Models, 2002–6) features architectural models made in the wake of 9/11. Three Capacity Men (2005) is a sculpture of three grotesque male figures swathed in blankets and peering malevolently in all directions. The almost six-metre-high bronze sculpture Mann im Matsch (Man in Mud) was installed in the artist’s hometown of Oldenburg in 2009.

    In 2012, Schütte built Ferienhaus für Terroristen (Holiday Home for Terrorists), a house based on the artist’s 2006-07 architectural model and commissioned by Polish art dealer Rafael Jablonka for the the town of Mösern in western Austria.