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: 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.
Art Basel Hong Kong
March 29–31, 2019, booth 1C18
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2019, with works by Georg Baselitz, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Duane Hanson, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Yayoi Kusama, René Magritte, Giorgio Morandi, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Rachel Whiteread, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, Zao Wou-Ki, Zeng Fanzhi, and others.
Zeng Fanzhi, Rooster, 2019 © 2019 Zeng Fanzhi
January 17–20, 2019, booth 309
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco
Gagosian is pleased to participate in FOG Design+Art 2019, with modern and contemporary artworks by Joe Bradley, Edmund de Waal, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Damien Hirst, Marc Newson, Giuseppe Penone, Nancy Rubins, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Adriana Varejão, Mary Weatherford, Rachel Whiteread, Jonas Wood, Richard Wright, and others.
To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at email@example.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at fogfair.com. To preview our booth, go to artsy.net.
Adriana Varejão, Pearl Song, 2018 © Adriana Varejão
January 18–20, 2019, booth D13
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the inaugural edition of Taipei Dangdai, Taiwan’s first international art fair. Marking the gallery’s first presentation in Taiwan, the booth will include artworks by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Nam June Paik, Sterling Ruby, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and others.
To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at taipeidangdai.com. To preview our booth, go to artsy.net.
Georg Baselitz, 5 mal endwärts, 2018 © Georg Baselitz 2019
Closing this Week
Amulet or He calls it chaos
Through June 1, 2019
500 Capp Street Foundation, San Francisco
This two-part exhibition uses sculpture, video, and painting as a way to restructure the narrative. Amulet or He calls it chaos chooses the illogical, philosophical, yet recognizable material world of magical realism, while also addressing the power and sensitivity of architecture, gender, politics, and mortality. Work by Katharina Grosse and Cindy Sherman is included.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2017, installation view, Amulet or He calls it chaos, 500 Capp Street Foundation, San Francisco, March 9–June 1, 2019. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2019. Photo: Preston/Kalogiros
Closing this Week
Through June 2, 2019
Guangzhou K11 Art Mall, China
Guangzhou’s K11 Art Mall hosts a major exhibition originally created by Katharina Grosse for Shanghai’s chi K11 art museum.
Installation view, Katharina Grosse: Mumbling Mud, chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, November 10, 2018–February 24, 2019. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2019. Photo: JJYPHOTO, courtesy K11 Art Foundation and Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna
Katharina Grosse in
Through June 12, 2019
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany
This exhibition of works from the first half of the nineteenth century brings together works from the collection of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden related to themes of forests, trees, and hunting. A monumental work by Katharina Grosse appears alongside these Romantic and early Realist paintings, acting as both a corrective to and shift away from the earlier work.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2015 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2018
Katharina Grosse in
In Bester Gesellschaft
Through 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