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Thomas Schütte, One Man House III, 2005 © Thomas Schütte. Photo: Wilfried Petzi, Munich

Schütte’s enemies, at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet 0

Thomas Schütte “United Enemies”
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
October 10, 2016 – January 15, 2017

The works of German artist Thomas Schütte (1954) will be on view at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet for three months. Best known for his sculptural pieces, Schütte can be characterized as having found the perfect balance between the depressing and the humorous. He works on the boundary separating the frightening and the playful; he asks age-old questions without giving any unequivocal answers.

Thomas Schütte works in very diverse techniques and formats. His oeuvre ranges from gigantic sculptures, installations and architectural models, to paintings, drawings and prints – all of which will be reflected in the exhibition. The show will also include works from two new series in glazed ceramics.

Thomas Schütte, United Enemies, 2010 © Thomas Schütte. Photo: © Nic Tenwiggenhorn

Matilda Olof-Ors, curator of the exhibition, on some of the highpoints of the show:

“The exhibition will include some of the small ‘United Enemies’ from 1992-97, as well as the two enormous sculptures from 2011, which is when Schütte, almost twenty years later, returned to the series and enlarged the enemy to a scale beyond that of the human form. The enemies have taken on the guise of grotesque giants, cast in one of the most traditional materials in all of art history: bronze.

Thomas Schütte, United Enemies, 2011 © Thomas Schütte. Photo: © Serge Hasenböhler

Another work that will be shown is ‘Vater Staat’ (2010): the state, embodied as an enormous father figure, is observing our arrival at the entrance to Moderna Museet. He is at once authoritarian and vulnerable. Also in this work, Thomas Schütte alludes to the monumental sculpture – that badge of honor awarded throughout the ages to celebrate kings, heroes and dictators, while serving as a reminder of a proud history, capable of uniting nations. However, when Schütte adopts this format, he portrays the power of the state as an old man whose hands are tied.”