Hometown: Wichita, KS
Lives and Works: Brooklyn, NY
Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, 1973
Art Students League of New York, New York, NY, 1970
Tom Otterness Bio
About The Artist
Tom Otterness is one of the world's most prominent public sculptors. His large-scale installations of cartoon-like characters and imagery in bronze have delighted children and intrigued adults at all levels of art-world sophistication for more than forty years. While Otterness's characters are playful, they often carry a political message critical of capitalism and economic imbalance.
If you live or have ridden the subways in New York City, for example, you may have rushed by one of the artist's installations, which range in size from small to monumental. His work deals with themes of money, class, and the individual's role in society. Inspired by overtly political imagery such as police men rousing the homeless, and thieves pulling bags of money up flights of stairs, Otterness' work also includes references to fairy tales and animal spirits in the form of bears riding bulls, "cash cows," and the Old Woman and the Shoe.
A graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (ISP), don't let Otterness's charming Lilliputian figures fool you. Found both in institutional settings and in public parks in locations such as Munich, Paris, and Venice Beach, they embody an explicitly political practice keenly aware of social class and economic imbalance.
Tom Otterness Gallery Art
Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Tom Otterness Permanent Collections
Select Permanent Collections
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
IVAM Center Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain
The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA