My works provide models for thinking through border spaces. . . . Consider the border between water and land—a concept of the border that is quite familiar. What does the ocean mean for me when I come from the land? What does it mean for those who come from the ocean?
Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings by Katharina Grosse. This is her fourth exhibition with the gallery and her first at Gagosian in Los Angeles.
Grosse has expanded the scope and potential of painting beyond the frame to approach the scale and awe of nature and architecture in relation to site. Using a spray gun, she blasts pure liquid color over canvases, objects, buildings, and entire landscapes in audacious yet nuanced explorations of gesture and physicality. While Grosse’s bold formal innovations possess an undeniable liveness and freedom, they are also grounded in keen analysis; her chosen medium of spray paint is a tool for conducted improvisation and a catalyst for surprising reactions between material, support, mind, eye, and hand.
In addition to her rigorous yet uninhibited technical approach, Grosse is keenly attuned to her working environment. Shifting between the studio and other less habitual sites, she uses one to inform the other in a constant and fertile exchange. Her most recent paintings on canvas, with their jewel tones of green, ochre, ruby, and gold, allude to nature’s subtler chromatic palette, departing from the saturated technicolor for which she is known. Despite the impressive scale of these paintings, the effects of light, shadow, and outline evoke a microscopic view or the movement of floaters across one’s field of vision.
In some of the paintings on view, botanical matter is laid down as a stencil before Grosse floods the canvas with color. Left behind are thin, luminous ribbons that swirl around each glowing tableau, their forms rendered illusionistic and ethereal in the spray gun’s particle haze. In some compositions, ghostly tendrils and writhing strands press up against seemingly membranous surfaces; in others, sharply delineated “scars” in the painted surface presage Grosse’s other new experiment on view: unstretched painted canvases that have been layered and sliced to produce loose, trailing textiles that emphasize absence as much as the presence of the painted medium.
Grosse’s use of stencil and outline also engages with an art historical lineage that touches upon botanical cyanotypes, camera-less Surrealist photograms, and early experimental cinema. Film provides a particularly rich source of inspiration for her practice; these canvases convey fluid, churning motion while also reflecting the ability of paint to halt time and capture the medium’s fleeting physical transformations. By substituting the passive and touchless nature of freeze-frames and light-based impressions with the forceful presence of the spray gun, however, Grosse pushes past her precursors into a contemporary idiom that suggests unprecedented relations between painting and the liveness of digital images.
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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.