Großer Doppelkopf Nr. 6


Glazed ceramic, steel

208 × 120 × 80 cm (81 7/8 × 47 1/4 × 31 1/2 in)

Großer Doppelkopf Nr. 6 is an imposing sculpture with two sides, two faces with distinctive features, facing in opposite directions in the manner of representations of the Roman deity Janus. The ceramic sculpture is placed on a solid, square steel base in an open space that allows the visitor to walk around it.

Modelled in a single mass of clay, this representation is covered with two different glazes, one for each side: the first green, which seems to glaze and freeze the features, the other blue-grey, which softens and patinates them. A clear line of demarcation between these two shades runs down from the top of the skull, while drips run down the two faces to the coils of rope wrapped around the collars. The shared hair is formed by adding clay petals to the overall mass; the eyebrows are obtained by pinching or notching the raw clay; the mouths represented by a horizontal slit.

Although the monumental scale of the faces and the penetrating gazes impose a statuesque authority, by contrast, the theatrical and grotesque expressions of these figures inspire amusement. Thomas Schütte always focuses on the ambiguity of the faces: a touch of tenderness in the grotesque, of strength in vulnerability, and of humour in the monstrous.