Josef Zutelgte is best known for his sculptures and drawings, which transform his observations of human communication, human behavior or their activities into conceptually rich images. He has interest in systems and explores how things work together and how they develop into what they are. A reoccurring element, representing systems, in both drawing and sculpture is the net structure. The net creates order and strength by not being solid, it builds shapes and creates openings, which invite the viewer to intrude, by allowing thought to travel through and define a specific space. His work explores themes such as memory, mutilation, hubris, identity, touch, silence and power. He invites the unexpected and controlled accident into his working process to create unease, surprise, adventuresomeness, focus and aim to haunt the viewer.
Josef Zutelgte has exhibited throughout the US and Europe, including, the Corcoran Gallery (Washington DC), Jack Tilton Gallery (NYC), In Khan Gallery (NYC), Lucas Schoormans Gallery (NYC), Roman Zenner Gallery (Germany), Konrad Moenter Gallery (Germany), University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Hunter College (NYC), and University of Hawaii. Awards include the Triangle Foundation (NYC - Residency), National Foundation of the Arts (Miami - Residency), and Art Development Grant.
Born in Germany, Zutelgte attended the Westfaelische Wilhelms University and received a MFA in 1983 and an MFA from the City College of New York in 2012. He studied at the Kunstakademie Muenster/Duesseldorf with Norbert Taeusz. In 1986, Zutelgte moved to New York, where he currently resides and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.