Thomas Schütte Sieben Felder (Seven Fields) 1989

  • Not on view

Through a multifaceted practice that embraces sculpture, installation, painting, and drawing, Schütte continually explores aspects of the human condition. Emerging a generation after Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke, German artists who mined their country’s fascist past, Schütte taps into history in more subtle ways.

These drawings illustrate the concept for Schütte’s 1990 exhibition Seven Fields, and they appeared on the show's promotional material. The seven images each correspond to one of the seven spaces in the exhibition. In each of these spaces, Schütte investigated a different field of inquiry, emblematized in the drawings by a lemon, rings, an architectural model, and a portrait of Alain Colas—the French sailor who never returned from his 1978 attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone—among others. That these fields of investigation appear random and disconnected is part of Schütte's message; what drives his art is the notion that images no longer support universal meaning as they once could. Instead of constructing monuments glorifying universal experience, Schütte creates anti-monuments to everyday life and the complexities of human existence—our disappointments as well as our hopes.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 94.
.a and .e) Watercolor, felt-tip pen, gouache and pencil on paper .b and .c) Watercolor, felt-tip pen and gouache on paper .d and .f) Watercolor and ink on paper .g) Watercolor, ink and pencil on paper
12 1/2 x 9 3/8" (31.7 x 23.8 cm) each
Object number
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints

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 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 or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

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