Published on the occasion of a midcareer retrospective presented jointly at SFMOMA and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, Katharina Fritsch offers a comprehensive overview of the work of one of the preeminent artists of her generation. While steeped in the traditions and history of German and European culture, Fritsch’s work is acutely attuned to the issues of contemporary art in the West, and particularly reveals the influence of Minimal art and Pop. The problematic relationships of culture with consumer society and mass media resonate, exposing and enfolding in her work their pull on the contemporary imagination.
Essays by Gary Garrels and Theodora Vischer are accompanied by twenty-three color plates and numerous black-and-white illustrations, an interview with the artist by Matthias Winzen, and “On the Marionette Theatre” (1810) by German writer Heinrich von Kleist, described by Fritsch as “one of the most beautiful key texts for the whole of art.” A chronological catalogue by Valeria Liebermann documents Fritsch’s complete output to 1996. Ranging from potentially endlessly produced multiples to monumental sculptures, from recordings of sound to ephemeral events, her works have resisted an easy coherence. This project begins to knit together the issues and themes that have preoccupied the artist and to recognize the diversity and development of her work over seventeen years. In English and German.