In Katharina Grosses’ fourth solo exhibition in our gallery, we will be presenting her latest works on canvas accompanied by a spatial situation in which a rug and a sofa become media for painting.
Katharina Grosse has continued to occupy an important position in international painting since the early 1990s thanks to her oeuvre and philosophy, which are characterized by continuous renewal, variable perspectives, and the call for a sense of possibility in the way Musil intended. She questions a Western tradition that takes what appears to be objective, abstract, and static as points of reference so it can develop a kind of binding force out of these conventions. In her body of work, the beholder encounters a pictorial form whose openness, enormous ability to connect, and variability eludes the traditional system and whose inception no longer relies on an abstraction of the world of objects.
Synchronizing non-simultaneous elements in the moment of perception is what draws Grosse to painting: the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous. She strives for the spatial expansion of painting in her extension thereof through the spray gun – a painting medium that allows her to “land” the paint and gaze simultaneously.
Color brings into play the possibility of comprehending movement (also in thought) or extension in space and time (or of the gaze). Color is thus merely applied for its own sake and is not loaded with any form of association. For Grosse – and, not least, for the beholder – it opens a path for time, movement, and the gaze, because the beholder always tries to comprehend the painter’s movements. This is true for her works on canvas as well as her objects and in situ paintings. Thus, there is not just one correct perspective – either intellectual or spatial.
But what happens to the objects on which Katharina Grosse paints? What happens to the paintings? When Grosse applies paint to a Modernist design classic such as the sofa model 578 by Florence Knoll (design 1954), as she does in our exhibition, she lets two paradigms collide. She comments, applies, criticizes, and visualizes. Although painting and the object are mutually dependent, they are also autonomous entities. The painting reveals both itself and the sofa; it relies on the surface for its visibility. This may be the case where the object has been concealed, but a direct impact has been prevented – just like blinking is an interruption of the gaze, but not the disappearance of what was seen before. At least, that is what we assume.
Grosse’s exhibition titles represent, if they represent anything, a fragment of a narrative structure. They encourage us to explore (among countless other things, of course) two ideas: the seemingly random process of the “auto-completion” of human perception, and the joy and/or freedom that comes from doing anything but.