19 January - 11 March 2017
Gagosian Gallery, New York
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.
Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings and sculpture by Katharina Grosse. A prominent figure on the international art circuit, this is her first gallery exhibition in New York and at Gagosian, following a series of significant public commissions in the U.S. in recent years.
Grosse approaches painting as an experience in immersive subjectivity. With a spray gun, she disconnects the artistic act from the hand, stylizing gesture as a propulsive mark. The resulting pictures are distinct, but never predetermined. Spatial tensions rise through shifts in chromatic temperature. Challenging boundaries, she reintroduces her body as an active agent within a vision of contemporary existence that is at once physically isolated and densely networked.
Embracing the events and incidents that arise as she paints, Grosse opens up surfaces and spaces to the countless perceptual possibilities of the medium. While she is widely known for her temporary and permanent in situ work, which she paints directly onto architecture, interiors, and landscapes, her approach begins in the studio. With calculated focus, she allows new patterns and procedures in her paintings to emerge from action, further multiplying this potential with stencils cut from cardboard and thick foam rubber—tools with which to develop further cuts, layers, and perspectival depths. Grosse’s gestures unfold all at the same time in unmixed acrylic colors, engulfing the viewer in a toxic sublime.
In this exhibition, selected works from several interconnected suites of untitled paintings produced during the last twelve months demonstrate this constant interaction of process and material. Base shapes migrate from one painting to another, appearing in new layers or fusing into clusters that advance and retreat. The paintings record Grosse’s ongoing choices about color, density, and velocity. In one group, monadic forms proclaim their specific hues within larger zones of color. A red shape takes its place amidst expressive jewel-toned streaks. A plane of cerulean blue opens, or perhaps closes, to a black and yellow void. In other more complex orchestrations, these coloristic moments become so compelling that the canvas, which supports it all, is easily forgotten.
A recent cast metal sculpture sprawls across the floor, its torqued and rippled surface hosting overlapping sprays and drips. White space splices through encrusted abstraction and fluid propulsions refute the boundaries of each plane. Between driftwood and space junk, the sculpture transforms as one moves around its smooth crests and sharp-edged cavities. Grosse compresses the natural, the industrial, and the technological, generating fields of color that hover between three and four dimensions.
Acrylic on canvas
114 3/16 × 76 inches (290 × 193 cm)
© Katharina Grosse und VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2017. Photo by Jens Ziehe.
Katharina Grosse was born in 1961 in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany and currently lives and works in Berlin. Her work is featured in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; QAGOMA, Australia; Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL; Istanbul Modern, Turkey; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, as well as commissions for public and private buildings in the US and Europe.
Recent solo institutional exhibitions include "Hammer Projects: Katharina Grosse," UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2001); "Der weisse Saal trifft sich im Wald," Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2002); "Perspectives 143: Katharina Grosse," Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2004); "Constructions à cru," Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005); "Atoms Outside Eggs," Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto (2007); "Hello Little Butterfly I Love You What's Your Name," ARKEN—Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen (2009); "One Floor Up More Highly," Mass MoCA, Massachusetts (2010); "Third Man Begins Digging Through Her Pockets," MOCA, Cleveland (2012); "Two younger women come in and pull out a table," De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, The Netherlands (2013); "WUNDERBLOCK," Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2013); "Inside the Speaker," Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2014); "yes no why later," Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); "Seven Hours, Eight Rooms, Three Trees," Museum Wiesbaden, Germany (2015); and Museum Frieder Burda, Germany (2016). Grosse's recent site-specific installations include Untitled Trumpet, 2015 for the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015) and Rockaway! for MoMA PS1's "Rockaway!" program (2016).