The main display at Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse's recent show at the DePont Museum of Contemporary Art in Tilburg, is an installation of giant orbs of multi-coloured PVC. In addition to the giant bouncy ball-looking pieces, Katharina has several large-scale paintings on the surrounding walls.
Recognised for her large painted canvasses and bright acrylic colors sprayed onto both interior and exterior walls, ceilings and floors, Grosse utilises spray guns and spray cans to investigate the intersection between gallery and street art, performance and installation, graffiti and abstract expressionism, putting the viewer in the centre of the work. Canvasses, strips of paper, walls and ceilings, as well as organic materials and objects assist in expressing herself.
While at work, the artist is dressed up like a scientist covered from head to foot, protected with a mask, gloves and earplugs. Her technique is unlike the traditional style of painting with a palette, brushes, and lots of colors, but takes into consideration everything related to painting – light, color, composition, texture and painterly treatment.
Katharina Grosse’s vibrant & impressive works bring painting back to its essence: the applying of pure color onto a surface. When creating an installation, Grosse wants to have no preconceived image of the end result. To her, this is precisely the challenge: to have no preconceptions and to respond intuitively to what emerges while painting, until there arrives a moment at which the painted image provokes no further actions.
By repainting, removing and relocating parts, the dynamism of the working process is revealed. The complex works possess a large degree of drama. Sometimes they are light and airy, but more often they are dark and destructive. There is always more to discover: Grosse’s unorthodox work deserves to be viewed meticulously. The detail demands just as much attention as the whole that obtains a three-dimensional dimension. Her paintings run effortlessly from wall to ceiling or floor, bending round corners of adjacent surfaces. You are literally standing in the middle of a painting.
Project: Two Younger Women Come In And Pull Out A Table
Location: De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, Netherlands
Artist: Katharina Grosse, Berlin, Germany
Technical info: Inflatable PVC
Picture credits: Katharina Grosse