Monk

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Katharina Fritsch
German, born 1956

Monk, 1997–99

Polyester and paint
193 x 58.4 x 43.1 cm (76 x 23 x 17 in.)
Anstiss and Ronald Krueck Fund for Contemporary Art, 2000.49

© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Katharina Fritsch roots her work in the personal, often drawing from childhood memories of familiar circumstances or chance encounters. At the same time, her references engage broad aspects of German folklore and culture through meticulous reproductions of quotidian objects, many of which she formally manipulates with shifts in scale and color. Her process is intensely time-consuming: molded by hand, each object is cast in plaster, reworked, and cast again, often in polyester or aluminum. The completed forms are then painted with highly saturated, matte, nonreflective colors that create a sense of otherworldliness. In Monk the artist took up the lone, brooding figure of a friar to encapsulate her fascination with Christian traditions and rituals and the mysterious medieval towns, such as Nuremberg and Bamberg, that she frequented in her youth.