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 largest work in this exhibition Nixe (2021) 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 ceramics as well a previously unseen series of works in Murano glass.
Thomas Schütte, Doppelkopf, (Blau), 2022 (detail). Photo: Mareike Tocha