Irina Kulik will speak about Thomas Schütte and Xavier Velhan—contemporary artists whose sculptural, architectural, and public art projects are often addressed to the widest audiences.
Thomas Schütte (b. 1954) is a German artist, one of the leading sculptors of his generation. Formerly a student of Gerhard Richter, he follows in his footsteps, critically rethinking art history and theory: many of Schütte’s own pieces, especially from the 1970s to the 1980s, comment on the principles promoted by the historical avant-garde and modernist abstraction. Along with sculpture, he creates installations, architectural models, prints and drawings, public projects, and decorates various spaces. Thematic issues he usually investigates in his practice include history, ideology, and society, as well as preservation of culture. Participant of Documenta 8, 9 and 10, Schütte won the Golden Lion award at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) for the Best Artist of the international exhibition. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Xavier Velhan (b. 1963) is a Lyon-born, Paris-based contemporary artist who represented France at the 57th Venice Biennale (Studio Venezia, 2017, inspired by Kurt Schwitters’s iconic Merzbau). Velhan's main mediums include sculpture, installation, and photography, although he works with other mediums too. Considering art a social phenomenon that needs to be transparent without professional knowledge, he creates formally and thematically laconic works for museum and public spaces, and collaborates with brands and artists representing mass culture, such as musicians, designers, and the like: e.g. Velham is the author of a sculptural portrait of the French electronic duo Daft Punk; a light installation for the Galerie Lafayette department store in Paris; and other projects accessible for the general public.