Mann und Maus

Mann und Maus

“[I have] a strong affinity with the magic quality of Surrealism. But I find it too psychological, it doesn’t really account for this sort of astonishment I’m interested in. . . . I am concerned with the point where you start to wonder about the existence of things.”

–Katharina Fritsch

Looming over a sleeping man like an all-too real specter from a nightmare, the rat in Mann and Maus inspires many interpretations. Although the delicate figure is seemingly crushed under the giant rodent, the man appears to slumber soundly. Fritsch is representative of a new generation of German artists who emerged in the 1980s and ‘90s deeply distrustful of dominant social and historic narratives and breaking from the art movements that preceded them. Fritsch wields her dark strand of irony as a tool for critical commentary.

Some later additions to the Wright collection are influenced by their children who all developed unique perspectives on contemporary art. Charles Wright mounted a solo exhibition of Katharina Fritsch during his tenure as director of the Dia Art Center in New York and piqued the interest of Bagley and Virginia.

On view in Material Difference

Image: Mann und Maus, 1991-92, Katharina Fritsch, polyester resin and paint, 90 1/2 x 51 1/2 x 94 1/2 in., Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2007.118.