KATHARINA GROSSEShifting the Stars

Current Museum Exhibition
Centre Pompidou-Metz
Metz / Grande Nef, Parvis
1 Jun 202424 Feb 2025
read inGerman
In the summer, the Centre Pompidou-Metz will present an exhibition dedicated to the artist Katharina Grosse (born in Germany in 1961, lives and works in Berlin and in New Zealand) who, for more than 30 years, has replaced the brush with a spray gun to create monumental immersive paintings.
During a stay in Florence, Katharina Grosse was fascinated to discover to what extent Renaissance frescoes incorporated the surrounding architecture as a pictorial element. From this point on, her work became three-dimensional. She started to create in situ works, responding to the exhibition space. The artist abandoned the easel in favour of the wall, directly applying shimmering colours, which extend into the corners and protuberances of the exhibition space. It was precisely in order to better embrace the architecture, to clash with it and create astonishing tensions, that the artist turned to canvas again in her installations. Her mises en scène are imbued with a liveliness that combines the uninhibited power of American Abstract Expressionism with the subtle sensuality of the Farbraumkörper (‘colour space bodies’) of the painter Gotthard Graubner, who was her teacher at the Düsseldorf art academy.
Katharina Grosse has been invited to occupy the Grande Nef, the majestic, continuous and unencumbered space that soars to a height more than 20 meters. For this event, the artist is planning to create a project that uses as its starting point an installation of considerable scope created for the Carriageworks in Sydney. Some 8,000 m² of fabric suspended from the ceiling by enormous knots will form a new space inside the gallery, taking the form of an immense drapery whose exuberant colours and energy will spill out from the Grande Nef onto the forecourt of the Centre Pompidou-Metz.
The exhibition will offer visitors the experience of literally passing through a screen of paint. Three openings will make it possible to enter this shelter with undulating walls, to access its heart and be plunged into colour and movement. Streaks of bright colours executed with vigorous gestures clash with diaphanous halos, allowing glimpses here and there of immaculate white in the folds of the fabric. The disorientating effect of this powerful work of astonishing optimism will be striking. It is at once an intimate playhouse and theatre set (the same Grande Nef hosted Parade, Picasso’s stage curtain in 2012), visitors will become performers.
With her painting, Katharina Grosse seeks to compress emotions and cause vehement agitation. She wants us to be so disturbed, positively or negatively, that we develop the desire to change something, preferably immediately and repeatedly.
Learn more about
  • Jens Ziehe
  • Courtesy: Courtesy Centre Pompidou – Metz; Gagosian; Galerie Max Hetzler; Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
  • © Adagp, Paris 2024

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