Katharina Fritsch Group of Figures 2006-08 (fabricated 2010-11)

  • MoMA, Floor 1, Sculpture Garden The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden

Group of Figures is a tightly arranged ensemble of nine sculptures that Fritsch first conceived
and made in 2006–08 using painted polyester, then recast in 2010–11 in painted steel, bronze, and copper intended for outdoor display. From left to right, resting on the ground and on pedestals, the piece features Saint Michael slaying a dragon, skeletal feet and shinbones, Saint Nicholas, a giant leaning on a club, an urn, Saint Catherine, the head and torso of an unidentified woman, and a Madonna. A snake rests before them. Each sculpture is a single color: white, black, gray, or a commanding shade of green, purple, or yellow. Clustered together, facing forward, they are positioned almost as if in storage rather than on public view. For Fritsch, some of these sculptures make symbolic or autobiographical references (skeletal feet appeared in one childhood dream); all evoke the odd sense of simultaneous familiarity and strangeness typical of her work.

Born in Essen, Germany, Fritsch concentrated on painting during her earlier student years. Though she decided instead to study sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, paint and its properties remained central to her stated ambition to “make sculptures that were paintings and paintings that were sculptures.” Fritsch’s use of color, in particular, has long contributed to her art’s startling clarity and exactitude; here the bright hues and matte monochrome finishes fix the sculptures indelibly in the viewer’s mind.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Painted stainless steel, painted bronze, and painted copper electrotype filled with resin and fiberglass
Dimensions variable
Gift of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann (Laurenz Foundation)
Object number
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].