Sculptor Katharina Fritsch was born in Essen in 1956. She attracted international attention in the mid-1980s with life-size works such as a true-to-scale elephant. In 1995 she showed her work in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. From June to August 2009 the Kunsthaus Zurich devoted a large monographical exhibition to the artist. The first comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany since the presentation of her work at the K21 Museum in Dusseldorf is currently on view at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg through February 2010.
The Brandhorst collection holds several works by Katharina Fritsch. These are mostly works dealing with our quotidian obsession with consumer products. Arrangements of mass produced identical objects seem to negate individual features of the single object. This is especially evident in "Rack with Madonnas" (1987/89). Almost 300 Mary figurines are stacked on nine ring-shaped round levels to form a towerlike construct. Actually they are easily- multiplied and well-selling devotional images of the wonder-working Madonna of the French town of Lourdes, a famous place of pilgrimage. The ensemble of brightly yellow figures inevitably attracts the viewer’s gaze. Because of their serial uniformity and monochromatic coloring the single figures recede from view in favour of the larger construct. Fritsch’s works take Warhol’s idea of seriality as their starting point and transfers it into a three-dimensional realm.