Images © the artist, courtesy of Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich
Katharina Grosse's large, strongly colored murals are internationally renowned. The artist sprays overlapping layers of glowing, colorful acrylic paint on interior walls, ceilings, and floor or on exterior façades. Through her use of color, she dissolves the given circumstances of space as well as architectural contexts. For a while now, Grosse has been integrating objects into her painted spaces. Shelves, clothing collections, books, or even a bed, are installed in the space and covered in spray paint. The paint looks different on each type of material. Successively, Grosse also began including formless materials in her installations. She builds layers and towers of earth, Styrofoam, refuse, or pebbles in the room, thereby acquiring even more surfaces for her painting. The entire space becomes a gigantic painting, as exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, De Appel in Amsterdam, and most recently, the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, have shown.In her most recent works Grosse has further developed this idea by separating the objects from the context of the installations. Pebbles taken from rivers and included in MUSEION in Bozen in 2006 were later removed and transformed into autonomous sculptures. Imitation stones or "Faux Rocks" came next, each of which were individually sprayed. Besides the artificial stones, she made irregularly shaped, crystalline forms out of Styrofoam and acrylic plaster, which were then painted. The shaped objects became autonomous foundations for paint, more like sculpted paint than painted sculpture. Our exhibition will feature several examples of these new works.A similar process of autonomization results in the Tondi, a format that Grosse has only been using for a short while. The first Tondi are created in the context of an installation. Circular canvases are placed on the ground and included as part of the space as it is being sprayed. Afterward they are removed from their position and installed somewhere else, leaving an empty white space where they once were. By simply shifting the context, an autonomous painting is created. In our exhibition we are showing Tondi created independently of any other installation. Thanks to their open form and unlimited motion, they seem to spread out into the entire space.