Katharina Fritsch had her first one-person exhibition in the United States in 1993, at the Dia Center for the Arts. There she debuted Rattenkönig (Rat King), her work in which sixteen 12-foot-tall black rodents face outward in a circle, towering over the viewer, their tails bound together in a giant knot. Like all of Fritsch's work, Rattenkönig is simultaneously seductive and unnerving. She often transforms quotidian objects or ordinary-looking figures into something new and strange through repetition and manipulation of scale and color. Her sculptures are the result of a time-consuming process: a piece is usually molded by hand, then cast in plaster, reworked, and then cast again in polyester.
Fritsch was born in Essen, Germany, in 1956. She represented Germany at the 1995 Venice Biennale and has had one-person exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Basel, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern in London, and K21 in Düsseldorf. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held in 2009 at the Kunstmuseum Zürich, which traveled to the Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Most recently, the Mayor of London’s Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group invited Fritsch to create the sculpture Hahn/Cock for Trafalgar Square. The sculpture was unveiled in the summer of 2013 and was on view until early 2015. Fritsch has been represented by Matthew Marks Gallery since 1994. She lives and works in Düsseldorf.