Urns (Set of 8)

Six various sized ceramic vessels painted deep red, cream, and black.
© 2018 Thomas Schütte / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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  • Six various sized ceramic vessels painted deep red, cream, and black.

Date:

1999

Artist:

Thomas Schutte
German, born 1954

About this artwork

Avoiding any signature style, Thomas Schütte has produced an oeuvre of perplexing diversity, including architectural models, photographs, sculpture, and watercolor drawings. His decidedly unimposing, antiheroic works explore the cultural, economic, historical, and social conditions of his native Germany with a detached, often humorous, sensibility. Much of Schütte’s work addresses the almost existential difficulty postwar German artists encounter in attempting to create monuments and memorials. As such, it evidences an ongoing preoccupation with themes of death, mourning, and collective memory. This is true of Urns, an installation comprising eight ceramic vessels glazed in a palette of solid colors marked by streaks, drips, and other surface effects. Ranging from three to five feet in height, these fragile containers at once imply living bodies and oversize repositories for their ashes. The vessels are intended to be grouped together, like a family. Displayed closed, these mysterious containers prompt speculation about what might be contained inside. One of the urns, however, lacks a top and bottom; viewing the installation from above reveals that it is empty.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Thomas Schütte

Title

Urns (Set of 8)

Origin

Germany

Date

1999

Medium

Terra-cotta and porcelain

Dimensions

165 × 177.8 × 188 cm (64 × 70 × 74 in.), installed

Credit Line

Gift of Michael N. Alper in memory of Pamela J. Alper

Reference Number

2004.247.1-8

Copyright

© 2018 Thomas Schütte / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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