fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Katharina Fritsch
La Biennale di Venezia

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Katharina Fritsch

1956, Germany


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Katharina Fritsch’s realistic sculptures dissolve the edges between the ordinary and the uncanny, stirring our deep-rooted dreams and nightmares while awakening childhood memories of religious tales, fables, and myths. Her works – which appear as boldly hued large-scale public projects, strangely scaled sculptures, intimate sound pieces, and multiples – project a confidence that can be interpreted as variably protective or threatening. Cast in dark green polyester from the mould of a stuffed elephant, Elefant / Elephant (1987) reproduces the textures and folds of the mammal’s body with startling exactitude, and its size, clarity of anatomical detail, and colour profile take on a supernatural effect. Here, a profound eeriness arises not only from her twisting of the everyday, but also from her technique. Frequently moulded by hand, cast in polyester, and finished with a matte paint, her sculptures maintain a formal naturalism made strange by the paint’s absorption of light, which gives the surface a mystifying quality. Elefant / Elephant takes on the vestiges of fables of grandeur, intellect, captivity, and matriarchal societies – the core of elephant family structures. Even in Venice, the iconography of elephants looms large: in the 1890s, right before the beginning of the Biennale’s history, an elephant named “Toni” lived on the parkland grounds and was known as “the prisoner in the Giardini.”

Madeline Weisburg

Central Pavilion
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