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, at 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 and Graham Bader
On the occasion of her exhibition Katharina Grosse: Repetitions without Origin at Gagosian, Beverly Hills, the artist spoke with art historian Graham Bader, associate professor of art history at Rice University, about the throughlines in her practice.
Gagosian Quarterly Films
Katharina Grosse: Think Big!
From October 21 to 23, 2021, Gagosian Quarterly presented a special English-language online screening of Claudia Müller’s Katharina Grosse: Think Big!
David Reed and Katharina Grosse met at Reed’s New York studio in the fall of 2019 to talk about his newest paintings, the temporal aspects of both artists’ practice, and some of their mutual inspirations.
Katharina Grosse: The Movement Comes from Outside
Katharina Grosse discusses her exhibition Is It You? at the Baltimore Museum of Art with Jona Lueddeckens. They consider what sets the Baltimore installation apart from its predecessors, and how Grosse sees the relationship of the human body to her immersive environments as opposed to her canvases.
Katharina Grosse: I see what she did there
On the occasion of the artist’s exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Terry R. Myers muses on the manipulations of time in Grosse’s work.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020
The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2020
The Spring 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #412 (2003) on its cover.
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.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2022
December 1–3, 2022, Booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to present a selection of modern and contemporary works at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Returning to Miami for the fair’s twentieth anniversary, the gallery is honored to have participated each year the fair has been held.
Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Gerhard Richter; © Amoako Boafo; © Richard Prince; © 2022 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
West Bund Art & Design 2022
November 11–13, 2022, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the ninth edition of West Bund Art & Design. The gallery will present new works made for the fair by Georg Baselitz, Roe Ethridge, Thomas Houseago, Alex Israel, Harmony Korine, Adam McEwen, Jim Shaw, Alexandria Smith, Spencer Sweeney, and Tatiana Trouvé, alongside works by Ashley Bickerton, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Ugo Rondinone, Ed Ruscha, Richard Wright, and Zeng Fanzhi.
Gagosian’s booth at West Bund Art & Design 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Adam McEwen, © Roe Ethridge, © Alex Israel, © Harmony Korine. Photo: JJYPHOTO
Katharina Grosse: Canyon
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Canyon (2022), a new work by Katharina Grosse, will be on view at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris beginning October 5, 2022. Inspired by and in dialogue with the architecture of the Frank Gehry–designed building, this latest commission by the Fondation is composed of eight spray-painted aluminum sheets connected to a beam. The work is a response to Grosse’s question: “How can a painting appear in a space with no floor and no walls, where air, light, flow, and energies circulate?” It is a reference to the characteristics of the “canyon”—the name given to the void that is visible inside the Fondation Louis Vuitton building from the ground up.
Katharina Grosse, Canyon, 2022 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany/ADAGP, Paris, 2022. Photo: Jens Ziehe, courtesy Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Katharina Grosse Studio Paintings, 1988–2022
Returns, Revisions, Inventions
Through January 23, 2023
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis
This exhibition explores Katharina Grosse’s studio-based paintings, from her earliest works in the 1990s to her most recent. The show highlights the role that thirty-seven paintings have played throughout her career in her experiments with the aesthetic potentials and physical and optical properties of color and paint.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2021 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2022. Photo: Jens Ziehe
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
April 23–November 27, 2022
Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia
Created specifically for Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, Katharina Grosse’s installation Apollo, Apollo features a composite image of the artist’s hands printed on a metallic mesh fabric draped across the floor and wall. Depicting a moment where boundaries—between the artist’s body and the flowing material, with its transparent, opaque, and reflective surfaces—blur, the work opens a gateway to a dreamlike world in which visitors question their own perceptions of reality and illusion. Produced within the framework of Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Hors-les-murs program, the exhibition is a collateral event of the 59th Biennale di Venezia.
Installation view, Katharina Grosse: Apollo, Apollo, Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, April 23–November 27, 2022. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild, Bonn, Germany 2022. Photo: Jens Ziehe
Wolke in Form eines Schwertes
April 1–September 4, 2022
Saarlandmuseum–Moderne Galerie, Saarbrücken, Germany
This exhibition, whose title translates to Cloud in the Form of a Sword, highlights Katharina Grosse’s recent experimental working methods. Canvases incorporating branches, twigs, and driftwood are coated in paint, fusing the natural materials into sculptural structures. With gestural, colorful, and material force, the works reach far into the viewer’s space, resulting in multidimensional pictorial sites.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2020 (detail) © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany, 2022. Photo: Markus Wörgötter