Thomas Schütte’s MoMA Retrospective: United Enemies

Explore the MoMA retrospective of Thomas Schütte’s United Enemies, a comprehensive exhibition showcasing the German sculptor’s diverse works from his early career to the present.

MoMA presents a comprehensive survey of Thomas Schütte's work from 1975 to 2024, including sculptures, drawings, prints, and architectural experiments.
Schütte is celebrated for his critique of minimalist and conceptual art, which incorporates deep historical and cultural narratives.
The 'United Enemies' series originated in the 1990s and blends mythological, political, and personal themes showcased in the exhibition.

Thomas Schütte’s ‘United Enemies’ at MoMA: The Sculptor’s Journey

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is presenting a retrospective exhibition of the works of German contemporary artist Thomas Schütte. This retrospective, which runs from September 29, 2024, to January 18, 2025, offers a comprehensive look at Schütte’s artistic journey from 1975 to the present day.

Exhibition Highlights

  • Diverse Art Forms: The exhibition includes various of Schütte’s works, showcasing his sculptures, drawings, prints, and architectural experiments.
  • Conceptual and Visual Exploration: The focus of the exhibition is on aesthetics, form, and history, aiming to deepen the understanding of Schütte’s artistic practice.
  • First Major U.S. Survey in Over 20 Years: This event marks the first extensive survey of Schütte’s work in the United States in more than two decades, featuring both well-known pieces and rarely seen works.

About the Artist

  • Background: Born in 1954 in Oldenburg, Germany, Schütte studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under influential artists such as Gerhard Richter.
  • Artistic Approach: Schütte’s early works critiqued Minimalist and Conceptual art, integrating cultural and historical themes. His unique perspective encapsulates short and long art histories, making his work visually and conceptually engaging.

Unique Aspects of the ‘United Enemies’ Series

  • Origin: The ‘United Enemies’ series started in the early 1990s with small figures made from modeling clay during Schütte’s residency in Italy, which was marked by political corruption.
  • Mythical and Political Undertones: The figures, mythical in nature rather than representations of specific individuals, exhibit a blend of the mythological, political, and personal.
  • Public Display and Symbolism: The series includes large bronze statues displayed in Central Park, engaging with traditional public art forms while presenting modern metaphors.

Exhibition’s Significance and Curatorial Vision

The MoMA retrospective is organized by Paulina Pobocha, former Associate Curator at MoMA and current Robert Soros Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, along with Caitlin Chaisson, Curatorial Assistant at MoMA. The exhibition aims to understand Schütte’s practice better and introduce his significant contributions to a new audience. It also aims to highlight the common thread that unites his diverse work, revealing insights about art and the culture in which it was created.

Location and Accessibility

The exhibition is held in the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions at MoMA.

The retrospective of Thomas Schütte, particularly his ‘United Enemies’ series, presents an exceptional opportunity to explore the works of one of the most significant sculptors of our time, showcasing his unique approach to art that intersects history, culture, and aesthetics​​​.

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has passionately covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a pulse on the art world's undercurrents, Grace has crafted compelling narratives that bridge art and its societal impacts. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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