Thomas Schütte spent his childhood in Bavaria and Lower Saxony. Impressed by his visit to Documenta 5 in 1972, the following year he applied to the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he remained until 1981. His teachers there included Fritz Schwegler and Gerhard Richter, who taught him how to forge a close personal and critical relationship with reality and to think about the essence of creating art. In the early eighties he started to work with architectural models, small mock-ups made out of rudimentary materials which he used to reflect a metaphor of the rules and regulations that govern our life. Some of these models became feasible buildings, such as his installation for Documenta 8 entitled Eis (1987), a simple space with a practical use—an ice cream parlour—that gave an ironic touch to the dominant idea of art at an international art event. In parallel, Schütte has portrayed the human body using other media like photography—Innocenti (1994)—as well as sculpture—his huge Große Geister figures (1996)—and drawing. He adapts his work to what for him are complementary media and his pieces both analyse and invite the audience to take a critical position. He lives in Düsseldorf.