Big Buildings, 1989, cardboard, wood, Photo: David Ertl © Art and Exhibition Hall, Bonn 2010 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010


Until the 1st of  November 2010 – Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany – Bonn

Thomas Schütte who lives in Düsseldorf and was born in Oldenburg in 1954 is one of Germany’s most important internationally known artists. Three times his work has been shown at the Documenta in Kassel. He also received the Düsseldorf Art Award in 2010 and the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2005 as best solo artist.

The show at the Art and Exhibition Hall, which comprises about 60 works, focuses on Thomas Schütte’s 30 year long examination of the art of building.

Instead of presenting an overview of his complete sculptural and graphic oeuvre this exhibition offers a selection of the artist’s architectural work. This collection includes not only small-scale models from the past three decades but also expansive, recently realised walk-in houses based on Thomas Schütte’s artistic designs. “Ferienhaus für Terroristen (a holiday house for terrorists)” and “One Man House I” will be shown to the public for the first time.

These architectural models, views and walk-in pavilions are not only supplemented by a smaller selection of aquarelles (works from the Flower Series, the “Deprinotes” and the “Mirror Drawings”) but also by recently completed large sculptures such as “Vater Staat (The State) (2010), “Engel (Angel)” (2010) and the fountain sculpture “Die Weinende (Crying Woman)”.

Since the early 1980’s, Thomas Schütte has been working on architectural models and drawings. As a result, models and views of houses, residential and office buildings, public squares, studios, gravesites, stage-like sets and architectural ensembles conveying a utopian atmosphere were produced. Most of these works which include specifications with regard to scale or little figures are contrasted with larger constructions. Schütte’s whole oeuvre is defined by the game between large and small, between models and constructed buildings, between art as a model and the model as art.

From the beginning, the art of building has been a latent element in Schütte’s work. The aim of “Big Buildings – Models and Views” is to focus on this most challenging debate between art and architecture. Besides creating bronze and steel sculptures, drawings, ceramics and aquarelles, Thomas Schütte has continuously worked towards re-establishing architecture as an artistic discipline, both as a form of criticism and as an alternative. This development started during his time as a student at the Düsseldorf Art Academy (1973-1981).

During the past three decades Thomas Schütte reclaimed classic fields of creative art which had been dismissed as folklore and kitsch by the avant-garde of 1960’s and 1970’s. In the same way, he chose an exemplary approach in order to bridge the divide between art and architecture thus placing these two disciplines in a new productive connection. The artistic examination of the constructed world, the art of building, architecture, and light and space is at the core of this exhibition.

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