Tom Otterness

Born 1952
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 Gallery Art

Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY

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

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's 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.

Works Available for Purchase



The Many Faces of the 2014 Whitney Biennial
Artist-Critic Walter Robinson on Painting Desire
A Guide to the Lower East Side's Art Bar Scene
9 Expert Tips for Building a Great Art Collection


a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.