Katharina Grosse: Repetitions without Origin

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456 North Camden Drive, CA 90210, Beverly Hills, United States
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-5.30pm


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Katharina Grosse: Repetitions without Origin

Beverly Hills

Katharina Grosse: Repetitions without Origin
to Sat 23 Oct 2021
Tue-Sat 10am-5.30pm

My works provide models for thinking through border spaces. . . . Consider the border between water and land—a concept of the border that is quite familiar. What does the ocean mean for me when I come from the land? What does it mean for those who come from the ocean?
—Katharina Grosse

Gagosian presents new paintings by Katharina Grosse. This is her fourth exhibition with the gallery and her first at Gagosian in Los Angeles.

Artworks

Untitled, 2021

Acrylic on canvas
131 7/8 x 78 3/4 in, 335 x 200 cm
© Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian

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Untitled, 2021

Acrylic on canvas
114 15/16 x 186 5/8 inches, 292 x 474 cm
© Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian

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Untitled, 2021

Acrylic on canvas and wood
137 3/8 x 97 5/8 x 31 1/2 inches, 349 x 248 x 80 cm
© Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian

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Grosse has expanded the scope and potential of painting beyond the frame to approach the scale and awe of nature and architecture in relation to site. Using a spray gun, she blasts pure liquid color over canvases, objects, buildings, and entire landscapes in audacious yet nuanced explorations of gesture and physicality. While Grosse’s bold formal innovations possess an undeniable liveness and freedom, they are also grounded in keen analysis; her chosen medium of spray paint is a tool for conducted improvisation and a catalyst for surprising reactions between material, support, mind, eye, and hand.

In addition to her rigorous yet uninhibited technical approach, Grosse is keenly attuned to her working environment. Shifting between the studio and other less habitual sites, she uses one to inform the other in a constant and fertile exchange. Her most recent paintings on canvas, with their jewel tones of green, ochre, ruby, and gold, allude to nature’s subtler chromatic palette, departing from the saturated technicolor for which she is known. Despite the impressive scale of these paintings, the effects of light, shadow, and outline evoke a microscopic view or the movement of floaters across one’s field of vision.

In some of the paintings on view, botanical matter is laid down as a stencil before Grosse floods the canvas with color. Left behind are thin, luminous ribbons that swirl around each glowing tableau, their forms rendered illusionistic and ethereal in the spray gun’s particle haze. In some compositions, ghostly tendrils and writhing strands press up against seemingly membranous surfaces; in others, sharply delineated “scars” in the painted surface presage Grosse’s other new experiment on view: unstretched painted canvases that have been layered and sliced to produce loose, trailing textiles that emphasize absence as much as the presence of the painted medium.

Grosse’s use of stencil and outline also engages with an art historical lineage that touches upon botanical cyanotypes, camera-less Surrealist photograms, and early experimental cinema. Film provides a particularly rich source of inspiration for her practice; these canvases convey fluid, churning motion while also reflecting the ability of paint to halt time and capture the medium’s fleeting physical transformations. By substituting the passive and touchless nature of freeze-frames and light-based impressions with the forceful presence of the spray gun, however, Grosse pushes past her precursors into a contemporary idiom that suggests unprecedented relations between painting and the liveness of digital images.

Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2021. Acrylic on canvas 114 15/16 x 186 5/8 inches 292 x 474 cm © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian


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