Katharina Grosse, exhibition view
“Here is work that is non-figurative and abstract in a sense, but is absolutely about something, being in a place, and you being in that place. And then, of course, there is the collapse of the distinction that one would make between painting and sculpture. In three dimensions, you cannot ignore the fact, that despite the thinness of spray paint, it’s a very thin surface, there are such strong corners and edges, things that you have to negotiate and move around to really appreciate the work.”
Galeria Filomena Soares is opening next 28th of September, Tuesday, Katharina Grosse’s first solo exhibition in Portugal, “Some Atlas”, that will be shown until 30th of October. "
The artist presents a group of very different paintings, small and big, sprayed and brushed, canvas, paper, aluminium (small room), and a mural painting (big room). All these will give an idea of the field she’s working in at the moment, which it’s called “Atlas”. This project can be described as a non-exclusive and infinite coexistence of different spaces, as an ever-changing constellation, that offers a glimpse of unlikely definitions, therefore it’s “Some” as opposed to “The” atlas.
In the early years of her career she has experimented various unorthodox forms and techniques and, at a determined time, converging circumstances prompted her to make her first spray painting in a group exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern in 1998, literally reaching beyond the physical limitations of the brush in order to reveal new visual potentials in the given site. Since that time, Grosse’s site-specific paintings are appearing all over the world in private and public contexts, both as temporary and, more recently, permanent commissions.
“I paint with a compressor and a spray gun using acrylic. I had no real preparation in terms of making sketches or a maquete. I’d rather, as a preparation, go and see the spaces, the city and get to know the gallery and the people who work there.”
More recently, Katharina Grosses has begun using large scale canvas in her mural installations, and this also happens in our Gallery. Her works confronts the perfection of electronically generated images – available at any time, affecting our ability to perceive by providing a constant stream of new stimuli – with a sensual quality of its own. Her paintings don’t confront us a limited image and they question the traditional status of the image. The fluent colour transition from pictorial surface to three-dimensional picture creates a complex field of vision that is able to cancel the borders between pictorial field and real space, the difference between object and subject. The colour is for this reason central in her project, its quality, consistence, length and density, the transparency of the paint and the handing of contrasts.
1 WATKINS, Jonathan. “Katharina Grosse and Jonathan Watkins in conversation”. London: The Goethe Institute, 2002
2 GROSSSE, Katharina. “Katharina Grosse and Jonathan Watkins in conversation”. London: The Goethe Institute, 2002