Born November 16 in Oldenburg, Germany, as second of five children. Father is an engineer, and the family moves every three years.
Twice German high-school champion in coxed fours rowing (as a cox). Hitchhikes on his own through Europe (every summer till 1975).
Visits documenta 5 in Kassel two times. Starts to draw.
Enters Art Academy, Düsseldorf. Studies with Fritz Schwegler and with Gerhard Richter. Attends lectures and seminars by Benjamin H.D.Buchloh.
- 1975 - 76
One-year community service in a retirement home in the countryside. Becomes friends with fellow-students Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth, who study photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher at the art academy, Düsseldorf. Starts to visit exhibitions by Bruce Nauman, Robert Ryman and others at Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf.
Produces Große Mauer (Great Wall) consisting of overpainted panels resembling the image of a brick wall. Regards this work as launching his independent artistic activity. Produces work for use and for decoration like wall paper and furniture. Tries to find a way out of the dominant minimal and conceptual tendencies in art.
First 3-month stay in New York.
Six months scholarship at the Cité des Arts, Paris. Meets Kasper König.
First exhibition at Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich. Receives Jürgen Ponto Prize, Frankfurt.
Graduates at Art Academy, Düsseldorf. Begins work with architectural models and stage scenery. Invited by Kasper König to the exhibition Westkunst, Cologne. First exhibition at Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf.
Models his first Mann im Matsch (Man in Mud), to be followed by subsequent versions up until 1985.
Shares a studio building for five years at Hildebrandtstraße 13/15 in Düsseldorf with fellow artists Klaus Jung, Ludger Gerdes and Wolfgang Luy. Breakdown, poisoned by lacquer paint and heavy drinking.
First exhibition at Philip Nelson, Villeurbanne, France; Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, Germany and at Jean Bernier, Athens, Greece.
Teaches as guest professor at the Art Academy in Hamburg during winter term.
First solo museum exhibition at Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, curated by Julian Heynen.
Takes part in Skulptur. Projekte in Münster. Invites Mario Merz to contribute to the piece Ice Cream at Documenta 8, Kassel. Gives up painting for health reasons. Stops drinking.
First exhibition at Tucci Russo, Torino, Italy and at Galleria Christian Stein, Milano, Italy.
First exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and at Galerie Pietro Sparta, Chagny, France. Starts working with clay at Niels Dietrich workshop, Cologne.
An overview of his work is organized by curator Ulrich Loock for the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. The exhibit travels to Musée dâArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France and to Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Exhibits Die Fremden (The Strangers), his first group of life-sized figures, at Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany.
Birth of daughter, Carla. Starts to draw from real life. Concentrates on figures and watercolours. Solo exhibition Figur (Figure) travels from Hamburg to Stuttgart and to Nimes.
Begins with Kleine Geister (Little Spirits). A series of these works is made for an exhibition at Lisson Gallery, London, in collaboration with the artist Richard Deacon.
Birth of son, Henri. Begins with Große Geister (Big Spirits) made of cast polished aluminum, later also in steel and bronze.
Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997, Münster, and Documenta X, Kassel, Germany.
Solo exhibition travels from London to Tilburg and to Porto.
- 1998 - 99
Trilogy of exhibitions at Dia Center for the Arts, New York, curated by Lynne Cooke. Most of the 120 Ceramic Sketches from 1997-99 and first female figures in steel are made for this occasion.
Starts to make prints with the printer Till Verclas, Hamburg.
- 2003 - 04
Solo exhibition Kreuzzug (Crusade) travels from Winterthur to Grenoble and Düsseldorf.
Receives Golden Lion Prize at the Venice Biennial, Italy.
Thomas Schütte lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.