Schütte produced this portfolio soon after he began the sculptures on which they are based, and it is a primary example of how the artist’s printmaking and sculpture inform one another. Schütte formed the small-scale figures (titled United Enemies) from Fimo polymer modeling clay, dressed them in various fabrics, and bound pairs of them together with cord. He then photographed each pair spotlit against a black background, and cropped and enlarged the images to make the prints (in which he added a speck of white ink, by hand, to the iris of each eye). Described by the artist as a “definitive model for a permanent situation,” the project suggests universal themes: the complexity of human relations and encounters between friends and foes. The acquisition of these prints advances a cross-medium initiative at the Museum to collect Schütte’s work, and it joins other recent acquisitions, including major print series in lithography, etching, and woodcut, and a pair of monumental sculptures.
Visit MoMA.org to view the complete portfolio.