A painting is simply a screen between the producer and the spectator where both can look at the thought processes residing on the screen from different angles and points in time. It enables me to look at the residue of my thinking.
Widely known for her in situ paintings, in which explosive color is sprayed directly onto architecture, interiors, and landscapes, Katharina Grosse embraces the events and incidents that arise as she works, opening up surfaces and spaces to the countless perceptual possibilities of the medium. Approaching painting as an experience in immersive subjectivity, she uses a spray gun, distancing the artistic act from the hand, and stylizing gesture as a propulsive mark.
Born in Freiberg im Breisgau, Germany, Grosse began painting at an early age, always attuned to the ways that color and light merged with thought itself. In her works on canvas from the 1990s, she juxtaposed colors of various densities and temperatures, repeating vertical, transparent brushstrokes. These led to related works painted directly onto the wall, where she lined hallways and staircases in sublime fields of artificial color. Introducing the spray gun as a painting tool, she began to paint across architectural interiors and exteriors. She produced her first work, a monochrome, using this technique at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, in 1998, spray painting the upper corner of a gallery in a deep green that spread partially down two adjacent walls and onto the ceiling. In 2000 Grosse became a professor at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee; and she taught the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf from 2010–2018.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Grosse combined the intersecting streaks of previous works with the cloud-like forms and mists made possible by the spray gun. The in situ paintings expanded in scale as she explored the liquidity and vast reach of the medium. In 2004, at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, she sprayed the gallery interior along with clothing, papers, eggs, and coins scattered across the floor; and in 2005, at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, she hung two huge canvases on the wall: one already painted, and one blank. She painted the latter on site, as well as the wall on which it hung. She then took down the painted canvas and leaned it against the wall on the floor, leaving a blank white rectangle.
For Grosse, there are no distinctions between painting, sculpture, and architecture. In addition to painting on canvases and over found materials like buildings and trees she also creates large polyurethane, Styrofoam, and cast-metal sculptures that act as abstract armatures for her paintings. Her in situ painting Untitled Trumpet was included in the Biennale di Venezia, in 2015, and Museum Wiesbaden, Germany, presented a major survey of her works on paper that same year. In 2016, adding to a sequence of significant public commissions in the US, she created a work for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! series at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways, New York, transforming a derelict aquatics center with sprays of red, white, and magenta. The following year, Gagosian presented Grosse’s first solo exhibition in New York, featuring major works from several interconnected suites of paintings, and one cast-metal sculpture. In these canvases, monadic forms migrate from one painting to another, appearing in new layers or fusing into clusters that advance and retreat. The paintings record Grosse’s ongoing reflections on color, density, and velocity, as well as her use of stencils applied directly to the surface throughout the painting process.
In her most recent site-responsive paintings, Grosse has incorporated lengths of painted fabric, draped from the ceiling and spilling onto the floor, thus adding even more dimensionality to her immersive paintings. The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped (2018) for Carriageworks, Sydney, was comprised of more than 27,000 square feet of suspended fabric, draped, knotted and folded across and through the nineteenth century industrial architecture of the building. In Wunderbild (2018), for the National Gallery in Prague, Grosse produced an imposing enfilade of paintings on loose cloth, draped from the walls on two sides. Painted on the floor of her Berlin studio, Wunderbild creates a bridge between Grosse’s studio canvases and in situ paintings, and its aqueous fields of color are punctuated by white palimpsests of negative space. This development continued in Prototypes of Imagination, Gagosian Britannia Street (2018), in which an entire wall of the gallery was covered by a sheet of painted fabric, asserting new spatial and temporal transformations.
Katharina Grosse | Tatiana Trouvé
September 13–November 16, 2019
An Exhibition for Notre-Dame
June 11–July 27, 2019
Prototypes of Imagination
May 16–July 27, 2018
Britannia Street, London
January 19–March 11, 2017
West 24th Street, New York
Works from 1929 to 2015
June 11–August 1, 2015
Britannia Street, London
Katharina Grosse: Mumbling Mud
We take a visual tour through Katharina Grosse’s Mumbling Mud and the installation process behind it as the artist discusses the effects of the work’s merging of built and painted space.
Trouvé and Grosse: Villa Medici
Tatiana Trouvé and Katharina Grosse discuss their exhibition Le numerose irregolarità, at the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici, with curator Chiara Parisi.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018
The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.
Katharina Grosse at Carriageworks
On the occasion of Katharina Grosse’s latest in situ painting The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped, at Carriageworks, Sydney, a series of video interviews with the artist was created.
Katharina Grosse reflects on the work of Cy Twombly.
An interview between Katharina Grosse and Louise Neri. The two discuss Grosse’s process and examine the countless perceptual possibilities of her medium.
Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées
Opening reception: Saturday, October 12, 6:30–8pm
October 12–20, 2019
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
In celebration of FIAC in Paris, Gagosian is pleased to collaborate with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées on a two-floor pop-up takeover featuring products related to Gagosian artists. On the first floor, the Coin Culture section will feature catalogues, posters, apparel, and audio productions. The second floor, the Library, will house an additional selection of limited-edition books, publications, and catalogues raisonnés.
Recent books published by Gagosian
Caroline A. Jones
Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 7–8pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Since the late 1990s, Katharina Grosse has sprayed prismatic swaths of color onto architectural structures, objects, and landscapes, eroding the distinction between two and three dimensions to create immersive visual experiences. On the occasion of her current exhibition Mural: Jackson Pollock | Katharina Grosse, on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Grosse will discuss her work to date, including her newly commissioned painting for the exhibition, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Caroline A. Jones. To attend the free event, reserve tickets at www.mfa.org.
Katharina Grosse. Photo: Max Vadukul
Art Basel 2019
June 13–16, 2019, booth C9
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Alberto Giacometti, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Albert Oehlen, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West, among others.
Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons
Jackson Pollock | Katharina Grosse
Through February 23, 2020
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Jackson Pollock’s Mural (1943) is recognized as one of the pivotal achievements of the artist’s career, the moment when he left figuration behind, expanded the scale of his work, and started to develop his signature drip technique. The MFA has commissioned German artist Katharina Grosse to respond to this work, in an effort to demonstrate how the two artists have respectively transformed painting through their innovative techniques and approaches to massive scale.
Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943 © 2019 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Katharina Grosse in
Collezione MAXXI. Lo spazio dell’immagine
Opened November 21, 2018
Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome
The spirit and the identity of the museum are being renewed with a display of more than thirty works by twenty-six artists. Dedicated to the museum’s new acquisitions, this group show aims to create a counterpoint between the abstract and the figurative. Work by Katharina Grosse is included.
Katharina Grosse, Ingres Wood Seven, 2017 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2019 Photo: Jens Ziehe
Gesten in der Malerei
May 18–August 18, 2019
Kunst Museum Winterthur, Switzerland
In 1965 Roy Lichtenstein created his famous Brushstrokes and in doing so highlighted the fundamental elements of the image, such as the appearance of the colors and the pigment, the color fields and their limits, and not least the application of paint in the form of a gesture. This exhibition aims to explore the sheer range of gestures in contemporary painting. Work by Katharina Grosse, Roy Lichtenstein, and David Reed is included.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2011 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2019
Katharina Grosse in
In Bester Gesellschaft
April 13–August 4, 2019
Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
In bester Gesellschaft, which translates to In Good Company, presents a selection of the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett’s most important acquisitions from the past ten years, ranging from those dating to the late Middle Ages to recent works. Work by Katharina Grosse is included.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2014 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019