Katharina Grosse - Untitled
Acrylic on canvas. 180 x 110 cm. Signed and dated '2003 Katharina Grosse' verso on canvas. Label with archive number verso. - Minor traces of age.
Since 1998, Katharina Grosse's preferred work tool is the spray gun, with which she discovers the way to new possibilities of expression. From then on, she worked with aerosol, a gas that is mixed with colour pigments. The result is a silken, transparent colour application of soft transitions, at times running and dripping, floating like a tinge covering the ground like a veil. Almost the entire colour spectrum is used, sometimes in daring combinations. Grosse does not mix colour but stratifies it in wafer-thin layers on top of each other. This results in an extremly fine colour degredation whereby the colour application is never completely opaque.
The spray-painted works are abstract, masterly and spontaneous gestures forming amorphous phenomena. The spontaneity expresses a lack of predictability in the creative process due to the fact that the colour application and the expansion of the paint cannot be controlled as precisely as with a brushstroke. Thus, it is a more direct working method: Seeing, thinking and painting proceed simultaneously and the colour, controlled by Katharina Grosse's body movement, also opens up space beyond the picture carrier.
'The way I imagine a spray-paint work before I start is totally different from what I do in the end. I might have clever ideas to start with but once I am at it, I don't just carry out my mental conceptions. Everything I do in a painting is based on a certain train of thought, followed by the next and so on - that's why it is totally different from photography.' (Katharina Grosse im Gespräch mit Jonathan Watkins, Wie man mit dem Malen anfängt und aufhört, in: Susanne Böller (ed.), Cool Puppen, Der weisse Saal trifft sich im Wald, Ich wüsste jetzt nichts, exhib.cat., Ikon Gallery, Birmingham et al., Wolfratshausen 2002, p.27).
The present work is registered in the artist's archive. We would like to thank Studio Katharina Grosse, Berlin, for helpful information.
Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf; private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia