Katharina Fritsch

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Katharina Fritsch (born February 14, 1956 in Essen ) is a visual artist who has achieved international recognition with her sculptures since the 1980s.

life and work

Katharina Fritsch lives and works in Düsseldorf . Since 2001 she has been an artistic professor for sculpture at the Kunstakademie Münster (University of Fine Arts). From the summer semester 2010, Katharina Fritsch has a professorship for sculpture at the Düsseldorf Art Academy .

Fritsch's father was an architect . First she studied history and art history in Münster. In 1977 she broke off this course and switched to the Düsseldorf Art Academy . There she studied with Fritz Schwegler . Then she devoted herself to painting . The first sculptural works were created in 1979. She finished her studies in 1984.

Goods rack with Madonnas (Yellow Madonnas) by Katharina Fritsch (1987–1989) from the holdings of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Link to the picture

(Please note copyrights )

Her international breakthrough came in the exhibition From Here - Two Months of New German Art in Düsseldorf in 1984 in Düsseldorf. In 1987 she exhibited her elephant in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld , now located in the K21 . The work led to discussions in European and American art magazines, so that the artist's life-size sculptures became her figurehead. Some saw a Lourdes Madonna erected in Münster's pedestrian zone in 1987 as a provocation. In 1995 she represented Germany at the Venice Biennale and in 2001 had an exhibition at the Tate Gallery .

The sculptures by Katharina Fritsch are life-size to oversized representations, which are reduced to the form itself through monochrome coloring. The color serves as an identification feature , mood carrier and metaphor for certain properties. This representation robs the sculpture of its individuality and conveys a kind of commodity character. The motifs often used are subjects from the consumer world (in the 1980s) and allusions to dreams and myths (in the 1990s).

Katharina Fritsch is a member of the German Association of Artists and has been a full member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2010 .

The sculpture fly , which was exhibited on a 1 m high pedestal at the Art Basel art fair at the Matthew Marks Gallery stand, was touched by a 3-year-old child on June 16, 2019 and landed roughly on the floor, causing the filigree wings to break off.

Works (selection)


Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Becker : The disturbed idyll of the place. Public space and modern art: a model of thought. In: die waage, magazine of Grünenthal GmbH 36, 1997, number 1, pp. 38–44, here: p. 40 f.
  2. kuenstlerbund.de: Members "F" / Katharina Fritsch (accessed on July 31, 2015)
  3. Art Basel: Three-year-old destroys “Fliege” worth 50,000 euros orf.at, June 17, 2019, accessed June 17, 2019.


  • Julian Heynen: Katharina Fritsch, elephant . Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, February 8 - July 26, 1987. Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld 1987
  • Katharina Fritsch: Museum . Exhibition catalog Venice Biennale, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit 1995
  • Ilona Blazwick (Ed.): Katharina Fritsch . Exhibition catalog Katharina Fritsch, Tate Modern, London, September 7 - December 5, 2001; K21, Art Collection in the Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, April 20 - September 8, 2002. Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit 2002, ISBN 3-7757-1176-7
  • Katharina Fritsch: Katharina Fritsch . With a text by Bice Curiger . Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2006, ISBN 3-86560-043-3
  • Angela Ziesche (ed.): The heavy and the light. Women artists of the 20th century. Dumont Verlag, Cologne 1995, ISBN 3-7701-3383-8

Web links