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Indepth Arts News:

"Katharina Fritsch"
2001-09-07 until 2001-12-05
Tate Modern
London, , UK

Featured in the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and subject of a major survey show at the San Francisco Museum in 1996, Katharina Fritsch is one of the most important artists to have emerged from Europe in the last twenty years. This exhibition will comprise the first major survey of her work in this country and will include some fifteen major installations,

In 1987 a long queue of people could be seen waiting patiently to enter the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Germany. Rumours had spread of an unexpected presence in this museum of art - an elephant. It stood on a plinth as quietly monumental as any natural history exhibit; its uncanny presence in the gallery was amplified by the fact that it was dark green. Elephant was by Katharina Fritsch. Ranging from the colossal to the miniature, her works bring to life figures and objects that already exist in our imagination. Using modern manufacturing techniques she fabricates people and things that seem to have their origin in mythology, literature or religion. They hover between the real world and a fictive realm of icons, talismanic objects and monsters. A towering figure of a monk is covered in black pigment so dense that it sucks in light; a man lies on the floor with an incubus - in the form of a giant mouse - sitting on his chest. Fritsch also reinvests the banal and the kitsch with a powerful aura: a mass produced madonna figure is painted a dazzling lemon yellow; a life sized baby becomes Christ-like, surrounded by concentric rings of protective poodles.


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