Thomas Schütte (born 1954) is a German contemporary artist. Schütte's multidisciplinary work ranges widely, from early architectural installations to small-scale modeled figures and proposals for monuments, from extensive series of watercolors, to banners, flags, and photographs. From 1973 to 1981 Schütte studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf alongside Katharina Fritsch under Gerhard Richter, Fritz Schwegler, Daniel Buren and Benjamin Buchloh.
“We weren’t naive enough to improve the world, and we weren’t destructive enough to reduce everything to rubble.”
His installations, sculptures, prints, drawings and watercolors take different and often contradictory forms. Schütte’s art looks utilitarian offering sustenance, shelter and companionship yet delivers false promises and alien worlds. He uses a wide spectrum of colors and a range of materials to revise the basic constituents – natural, cultural, political – of everyday life whilst exploring fundamental question about the artist and society. Schütte's work is held in the collections of the Tate, MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago and he has received numerous awards, including the Kurt Schwitters Preis für Bildende Kunst der Niedersächsischen Sparkassenstiftung, 1998, and the Kunstpreis der Stadt Wolfsburg, Germany, 1996. In 2005, he was warded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for his work in María de Corral's exhibition "The Experience of Art".