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.
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.
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 2021
May 21–23, 2021, booth 1d30
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong with a presentation of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by gallery artists. New paintings by Georg Baselitz, Alex Israel, Ed Ruscha, and Sarah Sze are featured alongside exceptional works in a range of mediums by Louise Bonnet, Theaster Gates, Henry Moore, Nam June Paik, and others, uncovering formal and conceptual innovations and associations that span genres and aesthetic approaches.
Georg Baselitz, Noch ein Orangenesser, 2020 © Georg Baselitz
Friday, May 7, 2021, 1pm EDT
Join the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Society for a virtual conversation between Katharina Grosse and the museum’s interim chief curator and curator of contemporary art, Margaret Andera. The pair will discuss Grosse’s Untitled (2019), which the museum recently acquired. The painting is the first work by the artist to enter the collection as well as the first by a female artist in the museum’s collection of contemporary German paintings. To attend the event, register at us02web.zoom.us.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2019 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2021
Eric N. Mack
Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 6pm EST
Using the exhibition Katharina Grosse: Is It You? at the Baltimore Museum of Art as a starting point, Grosse and fellow artist Eric N. Mack will discuss the intersections of their practices, processes, and inspirations. The talk will be moderated by critic and art historian Molly Warnock as part of the museum’s Violet Hour series. To watch the live conversation, visit BMA’s Facebook.
Installation view, Katharina Grosse: Is It You?, Baltimore Museum of Art, March 1, 2020–January 3, 2021. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2020. Photo: Mitro Hood, courtesy Baltimore Museum of Art
Through September 19, 2021
Albertina Modern, Vienna
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this exhibition features more than a hundred contemporary artworks from the Albertina’s collection organized into seven different “chapters” conceived as independent yet loosely connected “worlds.” Work by Georg Baselitz, Katharina Grosse, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Albert Oehlen, Andy Warhol, and Franz West is included.
Georg Baselitz, B. für Larry (Remix), 2006 © Georg Baselitz
Katharina Grosse in
Helsinki Biennial: On the Shores of the Same Sea
Through September 26, 2021
Various sites on Vallisaari Island and on mainland Helsinki
The inaugural Helsinki Biennial brings contemporary art to the unique surroundings of Vallisaari Island, a short ferry ride from mainland Helsinki. Artworks are installed along a three-kilometer-long trail and inside the island’s historical buildings, as well as on the mainland. Exploring themes of interconnectedness and mutual dependence, the biennial includes work by forty artists and collectives from Finland and around the world, including Katharina Grosse, who converted Vallisaari’s old derelict school building and its surroundings into a painting.
Katharina Grosse, Shutter Splinter, 2021, installation view, Helsinki Biennial, June 12–September 26, 2021. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2021. Photo: Hans Grosse
Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us
Through January 23, 2022
Helsinki Art Museum
Katharina Grosse is taking over the main exhibition halls on the museum’s upper level with two new installations, one of which has been painted on-site. Focusing on painting as a process and intervention, she transforms the exhibition spaces into artworks engaging in an active correspondence with the architecture, where visitors become participants as they move through her boldly colored installations.
Installation view, Katharina Grosse: Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us, Helsinki Art Museum, June 8, 2021–January 23, 2022. Artwork © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2021. Photo: Hanna Kukorelli/HAM Helsinki Art Museum
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