Posted May 12, 2010 in Arts | 1 Comment

Katharina Fritsch

Lately I have been looking into contemporary figurative work and when I saw the sculpture and prints of Katharina Fritsch I was particularly interested. Fritch takes familiar objects, images and figures and, by playing with scale and color, turns them into something otherworldly.

The piece that first grabbed my eye was her group of figures, 2006-2008 that was at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany last winter. Usually pieces like this would be set off individually but grouped together like this they form a cartoonish yet somewhat threatening gang.

Fritsch frequently takes her imagery from familiar sources such as tourist souvenirs and postcards. By the careful juxtaposition of her works, however, they seem to question their own status as Pop Art objects.

There is a refreshing sense of humor that runs through the artist’s work. Regardless of the medium and source material, most of the pieces are reduced to one, sometimes two or three jarring colors. This seemingly unifies the pieces and emphasizes their formal qualities… but are the formal qualities of an Ibiza beefcake postcard or a woman and poodle made of shells intended for consideration in the context of an art gallery

The candy colors are what initially draws the eye and in some ways the heightened artificiality makes the individual objects easy to dismiss. Where viewed en masse, the viewer starts to make comparisons and create narratives. I think this is the strength of the group of figures that opened her Hamburg show. In some objects the colors serve to elevate common objects to artworks, while with others, such as the religious and mythical icons, the figures are reduced to kitschy souvenirs.

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  1. Fantastic work, love the article!

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