- Event Details
- April 21–October 28, 2012 Bluhm Family Terrace Overview: Katharina Fritsch is among the most respected, admired, and critically accomplished European sculptors of her generation, an artist who roots her work in the personal, often drawing from childhood memories of familiar circumstances or chance encounters. Her references engage broad aspects of German folklore and culture through meticulous reproductions of quotidian objects, many of which she formally manipulates with shifts in scale and color. Made strange by repetition and siting, her sculptural installations are both seductive and disturbing. In the Proustian sense of activating memory, Fritsch’s work creates an unnerving sense of familiarity that is subsequently disarmed by the realization that we might be seeing a form, a character, or an object for the first time. Katharina Fritsch. Monk , 1997–99. Anstiss and Ronald Krueck Fund for Contemporary Art. © Katharina Fritsch. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery. Ultimately, Fritsch’s flawless and painstakingly handcrafted objects—such as her sculpture Monk (1997–99) in the Art Institute’s collection—may be easily mistaken for manufactured items. The artist employs a complicated and time-consuming fabrication process that begins with technical drawings and scale models. Molded by hand, each object is then cast, reworked, and often cast again in plastic, aluminum, or more recently bronze. The completed forms are then painted in bold and highly saturated colors with matte, non-reflective surfaces that create a sense of otherworldliness. For her commissioned installation for the Art Institute, Fritsch has transformed a collection of objects from her lexicon—a “beggar’s hand,” fern fronds, an apple, a human skull, St. Michael, and a Madonna—specifically for the Bluhm Family Terrace. In a form of mise-en-scène, Fritsch’s autonomous objects, created in bronze, copper, plastic, and epoxy, will take on a new collective identity as colors traditionally assigned to one object are transferred to another. In terms of both form and narrative, the results will be visually stunning. Sponsor: Katharina Fritsch’s Untitled (working title) is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago with major funding from the Bluhm Family Endowment Fund, which supports exhibitions of modern and contemporary sculpture. This exhibition was created with funds from the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work, which was awarded to Katharina Fritsch and the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Generous support is provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, Melinda and Paul Sullivan, and the Trott Family Foundation.
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