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Katharina Grosse

born 1961 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Auckland, New Zealand
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Painting isn’t connected to certain surfaces or materials or to a particular place. A painting can land and remain anywhere: on a rubber boot, on an egg, in the crook of the arm, in the garden, on the bulging folds of a fabric, along a train platform, in the snow and ice, or on the beach.
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If painting isn’t connected to a place, then the imagination is not connected to a place; and since imagination is immediate reality, reality as well is siteless. I want to show that it is always possible – not only for me, but for everyone – to also view and experience reality differently. Not only there where I show it. Everywhere. Always. Here. Now.
read inGerman
She attended Kunstakademie Münster and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and held professorships at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (2000­2009), and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2010­2018).
Katharina Grosse is one of the defining and seminal artists of her generation. Her vividly impressive  artistic output has exerted a substantial and significant influence on contemporary discourse and debate in the art world. Grosse’s spectacular projects are expressions of a powerfully expansive and multi- dimensional painting style. With their sweeping gesture and exuberant vitality her works transgress spatial and cognitive boundaries alike and call for a new culture of reception.
Constant innovation and variable perspectives run through Grosse’s ideas and work, in which she systematically questions and expands the notion of painting in a remarkable way. In her project to heighten our awareness of painting as a relational, spatial, fundamentally performative, and ephemeral phenomenon, she began primarily working with a spray paint gun in 1998. While aspects of analytical painting (the painterly exploration of paint as a material, the picture support, the application of paint and the setting) may be detected in her work, these are mere stations on the way to a multivalent color palette that is only complete when beheld by the observer. Assertively including space, architecture, and nature by spraying paint in great sweeps on walls, floors, objects, and ceilings and covering surfaces in the outdoor spaces with the same flamboyant, suggestive, and latently aggressive gesture is what makes the artist’s oeuvre so fluid and unique and her art one of the most exciting positions in contemporary painting.
In her more recent paintings, the artist brings together various modes of working for the first time: painting on canvas, as produced in her studio, is now conjoined with elements of her in situ work practices. Branches, twigs and driftwood are incorporated into the classic support or substrate and grow together to form complex, straddling structures.
Selected solo exhibitions and permanent presentations in public space: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis (2022), travels to Kunstmuseum Bern (2023) and Kunstmuseum Bonn (2024); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2022); Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken (2022); HAM – Helsinki Art Museum (2021); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2020); Nationalgalerie, Prague (2018); chi K11, Shanghai (2018); Rockaway for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! program in Fort Tilden, New York (2016); Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2016); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); psychylustro for Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (2014); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2013); Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; MASS MoCA, Massachusetts (2010); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2011); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005).
Selected permanent presentations: Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris; Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf; Gary M. Summers Recreation Center, St. Louis; Kunstmuseum Bonn; reception hall of the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building, Berlin; U-Bahn-Station Chlodwigplatz, Cologne.
Katharina Grosse took part at the Biennale in Helsinki (2021), Venice (2015), New Orleans (2008), Taipeh (2006), and Sydney (1998).
Among the honors she has received are the Otto-Ritschl Prize (2015), the Oskar-Schlemmer Prize – the Grand State Prize of Baden-Württemberg (2014), the Fred-Thieler Prize (2003), the Schmidt-Rottluff Stipend (1993), and the Villa-Romana Sipend (1992).

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