Opening reception: Thursday, May 15th, 6 – 8 pm
Marian Goodman Gallery is very pleased to present an exhibition of new sculpture by Thomas Schütte which will open to the public on Thursday, May 15th and will be on view through June 28th.
The exhibition will include a series of large scale bronze figures. The artist will also present four large ceramic heads entitled Dirty Dictators.
One of the most notable artists of his generation, Schütte's work has embraced diverse media and styles, including installations, sculptures, models, drawings and watercolors. He has often explored the role of sculpture and its relation to culture and the public sphere. From early architectural models, constructions, and utilitarian design, to hypothetical memorials and ironic monuments, to the figurative works of the last decade and a half, his highly charged range of work concentrates its focus, for this exhibition, on the possibilities inherent in the presentation of the figure.
The work on view in the North Gallery addresses the subject of the female nude in large scale, which has occupied the artist since the late nineties, and continues the trajectory of the steel and ceramic works which were on view for the first time in In Medias Res, the final of three exhibitions held at The Dia Center for the Arts in 1999/2000. For that exhibition Schütte created figures in larger-than-life scale which explored the tradition of modernist figurative sculpture—embracing the distorted female body and presenting, in large steel works and smaller 'ceramic sketches', a turn towards the grotesque. As a group, the new bronze works also engage the form of the nude and its antecedents in a highly personal and individualistic way.
In the South Gallery, a group of sculpted ceramic heads—portraits of four dictators—will be on view. Invoking themes resonant with Schütte's overall body of work-- history and memory, utopia and power, mortality and failure—the monumental heads employ the modelling, materials, and glazes seen in works from 1992-1993 – such as Vorher-Nacher (Before After), Grosse Kopfe (Large Heads), Untitled '93, and Janus Kopf (Janus Head) -- in which exaggerated physiognomies were transferred to a larger scale and a more traditional material. In contrast to the large ceramic heads from 1997 and recently shown at Dia-- Gruner Kopf (Green Head) and Roter Kopf (Red Head) –which functioned as memorials, the current works act as relics of fallen statues or monuments.
Thomas Schütte was born in 1954 in Oldenburg, Germany. He studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art from 1973 to 1981 under Gerhard Richter and Fritz Schwegler. He has received numerous awards, including the Kurt Schwitters Preis für Bildende Kunst der Niedersächsischen Sparkassenstiftung, 1998, and the Kunstpreis der Stadt Wolfsburg, Germany, 1996.
A solo exhibition of his work is scheduled to be held this summer at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, opening in June, and will later tour to the Musée de Grenoble and K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.
Over the years there have been countless solo exhibitions of his work at international institutions. More recently, in 1998 through 2000 an important survey of his work was exhibited in three consecutive parts-- "Scenewright" (Part I), "Gloria in Memoria" (Part II); and "In Media Res" (Part III) -- shown over a period of eighteen months at The Dia Center for the Arts, New York. The catalogue from this exhibition Thomas Schütte has recently been published by The Dia Art Foundation/Richter Verlag (2002). In 2001 the Sammlung Goetz, Munich held a solo show of work in its collection, and published an accompanying catalogue. In 1998 several solo exhibitions were held: at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London ; Fundacao Serralves, Portugal; and De Pont Foundation, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Other venues have included Kunsthalle, Hamburg, ARC Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Recent and earlier group exhibitions have included Documenta X, IX, VIII, in '97, '92 and '87, Kassel; Skuptur Projekte in Munster, 1987; Sonsbeek '86, Arnhem, The Netherlands; Von Hier Aus, 1984, Düssseldorf; and Westkunst-Heute, 1981 Cologne. A monograph titled Thomas Schütte, was published by Phaidon Press, London, in 1998.