Thomas Schütte is half way through exhibiting his key sculptural, photographic and painted portraits at London’s fabulous Serpentine Gallery in the show entitled “Thomas Schütte: Faces and Figures”. The artist is known for his love of portraiture is showcased here as this is devoted to this format entirely, but spread over its different mediums. When looking at the pieces it becomes easy to see why the Independent described it as “Full of invention”.

Schütte spent around seven years at the Dusseldorf art academy, the seeding ground for the dominant avant-garde of art in Europe. This is where he was taught by the genius that is Gerhard Richter, amongst other eminent artists, who surely have shaped this guys work in some way or another.

The artist has included some of his older works and has also made some new works entirely for this show. Some of the work comes from as far back as the past two decades, but none of it disappoints. The Mirror Drawing works are beautifully engaging, as these self-portraits feature alongside some watercolours of his close acquaintances.

Though the better works are for me Schütte’s sculptures. The Vater Staat or the father state, depending on where your from, is a steel sculpture that towers above everything in the room. Though on closer inspection, you notice that its not what it seems, as it appears to be rather frail. Its the paradoxical notions of the authoritative figure and its true weak state that make this piece so enticing.

Also his sculptures shaped in human form made of fimo are hysterical. The creepy little forms are included in the photographic series for Innocenti, as there whitish heads, get manipulated in every which way. Though remaining ghoulishly magnificent, as the eyes are hollowed out, with the more elaborate ones looking like they have been made from silly putty or melting wax.

The whole ambience of the show is never anything but ambivalent and unpredictable as you never quite know what is next, which is the beauty of covering so many formats. This show runs until November 18th and is located at Kensington Gardens  London W2 3XA and has free entry.


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