Since March 5th, visitors to Central Park have had the pleasant surprise of encountering Thomas Schütte’s “United Enemies”, a series of colossal, mythical bronze figures presented in conjunction with the Public Art Fund.
Schütte is known for his affinity for faces, and this time, the German artist brings anguished and emotive expressions together in pairs. Bound by rope and cast in bronze, the writhing figures represent politicians from an era the artist personally endured in 1990s Rome. “I was [in Rome] in 1992,” he has said, “the year there was this peaceful revolution in Italy where the heads of State and a lot of prominent people were being exposed and discredited and sent to jail.”
Despite their conceptual underpinnings, Schütte’s figures resonate 20 years later to any passerby. “Everybody should get something out of it, no matter what background he or she has who looks at it,” Schütte says. "From the child to the old person ... without questioning.”
"United Enemies” is on view in Central Park at 60th Street & 5th Avenue through August 25, 2013.
May 4–8, 2018, Park Avenue Armory