New York

Thomas Schütte

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

Though Thomas Schütte and Stephan Balkenhol have much in common—they have been “competitors” since each was chosen for the 1987 “Münster Sculpture Project”—Schütte has stridently disputed any link to Balkenhol’s sculpture. He regards it as repetitive and untheoretical, as Neal Benezra notes in a 1995 catalogue essay that accompanied Balkenhol’s show at the Hirshhorn that same year. And yet Schütte’s series “Die Fremden” (The strangers, 1992) has a certain affinity with Balkenhol’s figures: both artist’s sculptures are allegorical and expressionist, although Schütte’s are more conspicuously surreal—public monuments with psychopathological import. Both artists have rejected steel in favor of traditional materials—Schütte adopted ceramic; Balkenhol wood—and each is an assiduous craftsman. Schütte’s figures are in fact as compulsively repetitive as those of Balkenhol, though Schütte’s seem

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