Thomas Schütte was born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1954. He currently lives and works in Düsseldorf (Germany). A student of Fritz Schwegler and Gerhard Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Thomas Schütte developed a highly versatile artistic practice out of Minimalism and Conceptual Art in the early 1970s. He explores crucial issues such as power, memory, the role of art and its inadequacy to deal with the great human issues. Schütte has an anti-heroic approach to art. He rejects the Beuysian role of the artist as guide, preferring to introduce doubt and undermine certainties. “My works have the purpose of placing a crooked question mark in the world,” he said. His artworks are frequently presented as models, architectural mock-ups or theatrical sets, provisional and imperfect, alluding with subtle irony to important political or historical and artistic issues. Today his work focuses mainly on the analysis of the structures of society, with their political references and impact on the lives of individuals, laying bare the fragility and instability of contemporary political systems. Although his works do not always present a recognizable narrative, they reveal a concern for the figure and the human condition.
Monographic exhibitions were recently held at: Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016), the Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts (2015), Gallery Bernier/Eliades, Athens (2015), Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Castello di Rivoli in Turin. His work was also shown at Punta delle Dogana in the exhibitions "Prima Materia" (2013-14), "In praise of doubt" (2011-13), "Mapping the Studio" (2009-11) and at Palazzo Grassi for "The World belongs to you" (2011-12) and " A Post-pop Selection" (2006-2007).
In April 2016 Thomas Schütte opened his own sculpture museum near Düsseldorf.