Thomas Schütte

Peter Freeman, Inc.
140 Grand Street
New York
Soho
Sep 16th 2021 — Nov 6th 2021

Find out more

A 10-foot cast-iron mermaid; a series of FIMO clay, flannel-wrapped old men encased in glass domes; an ink-on-watercolor paper drawing of a dog with his head reared back toward his tail, ears alert. In his sixth solo show at Peter Freeman, Inc., German contemporary artist Thomas Schütte presents a selection of playful and poignant new sculptures, prints, and drawings.

Schütte’s sculptures, though a kind of portraiture, delight in the unexpected or unconventional. The chopsticks stuck through the bun of the ceramic-and-steel bust Implodierte (2020) are by far the sturdiest thing about it: its neck swoons like putty and an equally yielding head droops, threatening to slip off the plinth. A series of largely crotchety-looking old men with ravined faces, entitled “Old Friends Revisited,” glower when not actively grotesque, their ceramic, clay, and photographic surfaces cracking in an effect not unlike aging.

Medium and material take pride of place. A prone head, sleeping atop a pedestal and made of a substance that recalls raw sugar, appears crisped and caramelized on one side of its face, but in fact is made of cast Murano glass. Dritte Schwester (2013), a woman’s head with eyes beatifically closed and wrinkled brows, evokes unsmoothed papier-mâché with the gridded texture of her bonnet, while the smaller Nixe (2021) is such a lurid turquoise it looks glazed or painted. Both are made of cast bronze. Große Frauenköpfe (2021), meanwhile, which looks like patinated bronze plated in nickel or aluminum, is actually glazed ceramic. Though Schütte’s sculptures are distinctly contemporary, they return us to the basest conception of what sculpture can be: an investigation of material, depiction, feeling. —Lisa Yin Zhang

Thomas Schütte, Implodierte, 2020. Glazed ceramic and steel on artist's steel base,
Sculpture: 12 1/8 x 20 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches. Overall: 69 3/8 x 20 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.