Basel: Thomas Schütte at Fondation Beyeler, through February 2nd 2014

December 22nd, 2013


Thomas Schütte, United Enemies (2011), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

At Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland through February 2nd is an exhibition displaying sculptural works of human figure, created by German artist Thomas Schütte. Made from a wide variety of materials, including steel and aluminum, bronze, modeling clay, ceramic, wood, and glass, and are placed throughout the museum as well as outside in the gardens surrounding the institution.

Thomas Schütte, Walser’s Wife (2011), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

The show combines brand new woks with well-known sculptures from as long as 30 years ago, as well as rarely exhibited, lesser known pieces. Both the materials used and the types of human figures portrayed are diverse, although all of the works in some way portray a version of the human figure. Additionally, watercolor portraits and photographs are displayed alongside the more dominant sculptural works.

Thomas Schütte, Stahlfrau Nr. 16 (Steel Woman No. 16) (2004), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

The Fondation Beyeler as an institution focuses its collection on the modern image of man, as interpreted by many different artists, from Cézanne and Matisse to Picasso, Giacometti and Francis Bacon. Similarly, Schütte’s body of work is aimed towards the condition humaine, or the nature of man, mostly via figures and head sculptures. The figures represented include expressive women, mythical and animal-inspired spirits, doll figurines, and oversized, ambiguous heads.

Thomas Schütte, Me Memorial (2007-2009), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

Born in 1954, Schütte studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and he continues to live and work in Düsseldorf, Germany. He has been regularly exhibiting in Germany since the mid 1980s, and his first U.S. solo show took place in New York in 1989 at the Marian Goodman Gallery. He has also had solo exhibitions at Dia Center for the Arts in New York, Serralves Foundation in Portugal, Kunsthalle in Hamburg, ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. He has participated in documenta in Kassel three times and in 2005 he won the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennial. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Tate, the MoMA, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Thomas Schütte, Luis (1996), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

Thomas Schütte, Hase(Hare) (2013), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

Thomas Schütte, Die Fremden (The Strangers) (1992), courtesy Fondation Beyeler

The exhibition at Fondation Beyeler in Basel opened on October 6th and will continue through February 2nd 2014.

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Fondation Beyeler]