Grosser Geist Nr. 9

Thomas Schütte

Grace Building
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10110


Produced between 1996 and 2004, the Grosse Geister are among Thomas Schütte’s most iconic sculptures.  They are colossal monuments to the human form, which follow in the footsteps of Auguste Rodin, Alberto Giacometti, and Henry Moore.

Grosse Geister loosely translates into English as “Great Ghosts,” but this does not do justice to the rich connotations of the original; “Geist” can mean zeitgeist, a spirit, a powerful mind, clergyman, or ghost, and is also used to describe the science of thinking itself.   Towering nine feet in corten steel, Grosser Geist Nr. 9 is seemingly caught mid-stride with its arms outstretched — a cross between Ghostbusters, the Michelin Man, Michael Jackson moon walking, and the Terminator.

About Thomas Schütte:

Thomas Schütte (b. 1954, Oldenburg, Germany) is among the most important contemporary artists of his generation.  He has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions, including at the Monnaie de Paris (2019); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2019); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016); Foundation Beyeler, Basel (2014); Serpentine Gallery, London (2012); Reina Sofa, Madrid (2010); and Dia Art Foundation, New York (1999.) In 2005, he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, and in 2020/2021 he will be the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Schütte’s work is uncategorizable in a traditional sense, as he produces sculpture, drawing, prints, ceramics, and architecture across a vast range of materials and scales,  from small aluminum figures that are only a few centimeters tall to monumental steel, bronze and glass sculptures (such as the Model for a Hotel which he built in 2007 in London’s Trafalgar Square.)

With pathos and an ingenious sense of humor, Schütte often re-visits many of the motifs of classical sculpture, such as female nudes, standings figures, and monumental memorial statues.  The works chosen for display in the Grace Building are all portraits, and they exemplify his brilliant and diverse approaches to the human figure.

 

Grosser Geist Nr. 9, 1998
Corten steel
98 3/8 x 50 x 55 inches