Katharina Fritsch (German, b.1956) is an installation artist and sculptor who lives and works in Düsseldorf. Born in Essen, Germany, Fritsch studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf from 1977 to 1984, where she was a pupil of Fritz Schwegler (German, b.1935). After graduating, Fritsch began exhibiting throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. Her sculptures mix reality with imagination to create life-like, surreal imagery. She consistently focuses on the contrasting ideas of reality and fantasy, transforming the familiar to something bizarre and unexpected. She is best known for manipulating color and scale and using repetition in her installations, creating a mass-produced look while incorporating traditional ideas of sculpture. In 1995, she was chosen to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale where she displayed her famous work Rattenkönig (Rat king). Fritsch’s work can be viewed in galleries, public spaces, and unusual places that are normally overlooked. One of her sculptures of the Madonna—inspired by the cheap souvenirs sold near pilgrimage churches—can be seen on Salzstrasse, near the Dominican Church in Münster. Fritch’s Madonnas are life-size versions of these mementos painted a bright yellow and mass-produced in a series of multiples, stripping them of any religious meaning. This concept is seen in most of Fritch’s work in which she takes an object and transforms its meaning by altering its features.

Timeline

1956
Born in Essen, Germany
1977–1984
Studied at the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf
Currently lives and works in Düsseldorf
Awards
2002 Konrad-von-Soest-Preis, Landesverband Westfalen-Lippe
1999 Junge Stadt sieht Junge Kunst, Wolfsburg
1995 Kunstpreis der Stadt Aachen, Aachen
1994 Coutts & Co. International Award, London
1989 Kunstpreis Glockengasse, Cologne
1984 Kunstpreis Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf

Exhibitions

2012–2013
Katharina Fritsch, Alexej Koschkarow, Cit Art Foundation, Aktuell in der Sammlung, Neues Museum Nürnberg, Germany
2012–2013
Sonderschau zu Gillian Wearing, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfahlen, Germany
2012
Katharina Fritsch, Alexej Koschkarow, Galerie Rupert Pfab, Düsseldorf, Germany
2008
You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil, White Cube, Hoxton Square and Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2008
Ad Absurdum. Energien des Absurden von der Klassischen Moderne zur Gegenwart, Marta Herford, Herford
2008
Kavalierstart 1978-1982, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
2008
God and Goods, Villa Manin, Codroipo
2008
Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today, MOMA, New York
2008
True Romance. Allegories of Love from the Renaissance to the Present, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
2008
Tischgesellschaft, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
2007
Katharina Fritsch, Comune di Modena Galleria Civica, Modena (solo)
2007
Katherina Fritsch, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (solo)
2007
Door Cycle, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
2006
Egomania, Palazzo Santa Margherita, Modena
2006
We Humans are Free, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2006
Lang leve Beeldhouwkunst!,Middelheimmuseum Antwerpen, Belgium
2006
Dark Matter, White Cube Hoxton Sqaure, London
2006
Parkhaus, Düsseldorf (solo)
2006
White Cube Hoxton Square, London (solo)
2006
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (solo)
2005
Skulls, Schönewald Fine Arts, Xanten
2005
Simple(s) & Élémentaire(s), Musée de Gajac, Villeneuve-sur-Lot
2005
Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist´s Eye, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hayward Gallery, London
2005
Van Gogh bis Beuys, CROSSART: Meisterwerke der Moderne aus zehn deutschen und niederländischen Museen, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
2005
Zwischen Tür und Angel, Landesmuseum, Münster
2005
Donna Donne, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
2005
Zoo Story, Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York
2005
Schöner Leben, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt
2004
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (solo)
2004
100 Artists See God, The Jewish Museum, San Francisco
2004
Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Toronto
2004
Bodily Space: New Obsessions in Figurative SculptureU, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
2004
Animals, Haunch of Venison, London
2004
Transcultures, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
2004
The Eclectic Eye: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans
2004
Vanitas, Eitelkeit Van De Ijdelheden, Internationales Kunstzentrum Ostbelgienk, Eupen
2003
Tierausstellung, Galerie Cora Hölzl, Düsseldorf
2003
Strangely Familiar, New York State Museum, New York
2003
Coollustre, Hotel de Caumont, Avignon
2003
Sculpture, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
2003
Maler-Bildhauer aus der Sammlung Garnatz, Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe
2003
Durchgehend geöffnet, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden
2003
Lyon Biennale, Lyon
2003
Supernova. Art of the 1990´s from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
2002
K21 Kunstsammlun, Düsseldorf (solo)
2002
Shopping, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt’; Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, Sir John Soan´s Museum, London
2002
Comer or not Comer, Centro de Arte, Salamanca
2001
A Contemporary Cabinet of Curiosities. Selections from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection, Oliver Art Centre, California Collage of Arts and Crafts (CCAC Institute), Oakland, 17. 01. - 03.03.
2001
Und keiner hinkt. 22 Wege vom Schwegler wegzukommen, Museum Kurhaus, Kleve; - Ewald Mataré - Sammlung, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf; Tate Modern, London; Haifa Museum of Modern Art, Israel; Fortuna Düsseldorf
2001
Genußscheine, Portikus, Frankfurt
2001
Ex(o)DUS, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel
2001
Szenenwechsel XX, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
2001
Objectif Camouflage, Brussels
2001
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (solo)
2001
Tate Modern, London (solo)
2000
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (solo)
2000
Quotidiana. The Continuity of the Everyday in 20th Century Art, Castello di Rivoli, Turin
2000
Mensch, EXPO 2000, Hanover
2000
FOOD FOR THE MIND, Staatsgalerie moderner Kunst im Haus der Kunst, Munich
2000
figurare, Castello di Rivara, Rivara
2000
ARCHE, Kunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg
2000
Kabinett der Zeichnung. Eine Ausstellung des Kunstfonds, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Kunstverein Lingen, Lingen; Kunstsammlung Chemnitz, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (28.04 - 17.07.2001)
2000
Szenenwechsel, Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main, 29.09. - 04.02.
2000
The Intuitive Eye: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Collection, Kunstgalerie des Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, California
2000
ghosts, Marshall Arts Drive Through, Delta Axis Exhibition
2000
HYPERMENTAL. Wahnhafte Wirklichkeit 1950 - 2000 von Salvador Dalí bis Jeff Koons, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
2000
Drawings & Photographs. An Exhibition to Benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Inc., Matthew Marks Gallery, New York