Kristall II (Modell 1:1), 2014
Parallel with his better-known sculptural works, Thomas Schütte has since the eighties been creating architectural models sometimes on a human scale. Occupying a place between sculpture, immersive installation and architecture, they often interrogate primary forms of shelter and their relationship to the human figure. Kristall II (Modell 1:1) is a modified version of a 2014 sculpture created out of copper and wood. Hinting at the crystalline form of snow and ice, the structure stands in such a way that to enter it is also to be framed by it, even as the sculpture itself provides a frame for the landscape outside.
Thomas Schütte was born in Oldenburg, Germany in 1954. He studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf until 1981. Schütte’s oeuvre spans a diverse range of mediums and themes. His earlier works are mostly architectural models that comment on the role of the artist in society and on the art institution itself. Over the years, his preoccupations about the human condition in general as well as the cultural, social and political elements of everyday life have merged within his work. This myriad of themes comes to life through sculptures, prints, drawings, watercolors and photographs that employ figuration as a pivotal means of expression, particularly in his works of the late 1980s and 1990s. Schütte is well known for a series of three monumental-scale anthropomorphic figures cast in aluminum entitled Large Ghosts, 1996 through which he explores the expressive potential of the human form. He is also well known for United Enemies, 1993, a series of sculptures and photographs that comment on the contradictory nature of the human condition.
Thomas Schütte has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held in institutions such as the Museo de Arte Renia Sofia in 2010, the Haus der kunst in Munich in 2009 and the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland in 2003. He has also participated in exhibitions in major institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Fondation Beyeler in Basel. Schütte participated in the 2005 Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the Golden Lion. His work has been featured in multiple publications. Thomas Schütte lives and works in Germany.