Katharina Fritsch, German, born 1956
In Knot, Katharina Fritsch applies the neutral elements of symmetry, precision, and scale to a decidedly disturbing vision. The horizontal ridges that line the swelling strands of the form hint at the original identity of this piece: a knot formed by a tangle of long rats' tails, a nightmarish phenomenon known in northern European folklore as a Rat-King. As the rats enmeshed in the Rat-King struggle to pull away to escape, they only tighten the knot that spells communal death. Knot's elegant form commands the space around it with uncanny authority, yet at the same time remains freighted with the eeriness of its origins.