Katharina Fritsch, Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles), 1995-1996
Katharina Fritsch, Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles), 1995-1996; plaster, foil, polyurethane, and paint, 15 3/4 in. x 201 1/2 in. x 201 1/2 in. (40.01 cm x 511.81 cm x 511.81 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase: gift of Collectors Forum, Jean and Jim Douglas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Susan and Robert Green, Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Vicki and Kent Logan, Helen and Charles Schwab, Norah and Norman Stone, and Judy and John Webb; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Germany
Katharina Fritsch, Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles), 1995-1996

Overview

Four circles of 224 poodles, arranged in tight, densely packed rings, surround an infant poised on an eight-pointed gold star. The points of the star create eight radiating axes by which the poodles are aligned. The result is a stunning visual play of repetitive patterns in space.

Fritsch's intention is to lodge an indelible visual image in the mind of the viewer, indissolubly fusing experience and memory. Although some viewers may find the poodles threatening, they also appear to be on alert watch, guarding over the child. And despite the ominous atmosphere, a strange undercurrent of humor is present in the quirky oddness of both the poodles and the baby.

Fritsch chose the poodle as a dog that is cute and beguiling but can also be aggressive and mean. Soon after completing the piece, she recalled that a poodle appears in the story of Faust, retold in a nineteenth-century novel by Johann Wolfgang Goethe that is known to every German schoolchild. While out walking, Faust sees a black poodle and brings it home, unknowingly inviting the devil into his study. The baby suggests the innocence of children at birth, untouched by evil and misfortune. As it begins the journey of life, it must face the tensions of civilization and the potential for corruption.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles)
Artist name
Katharina Fritsch
Date created
1995-1996
Classification
sculpture
Medium
plaster, foil, polyurethane, and paint
Dimensions
15 3/4 in. x 201 1/2 in. x 201 1/2 in. (40.01 cm x 511.81 cm x 511.81 cm)
Date acquired
1996
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase: gift of Collectors Forum, Jean and Jim Douglas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Susan and Robert Green, Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Vicki and Kent Logan, Helen and Charles Schwab, Norah and Norman Stone, and Judy and John Webb
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Germany
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/96.490.A-RRRRRRRRR
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Katharina Fritsch

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