Production stills from ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7. © ART21, Inc. 2014.
Katharina Grosse was born in 1961 in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany. Grosse is a painter who often employs electrifying sprayed acrylic colors to create large-scale sculptural environments and smaller wall works. Interested in the shifts of scale between “imagining big” while being small in relationship to one’s surroundings, she explores the dynamic interplay between observing the world and simply being in it. By uniting a fluid perception of landscape with the ordered hierarchy of painting, Grosse treats both architecture and the natural world as an armature for expressive compositions of dreamy abandon, humorous juxtaposition, and futuristic flair. Her projects often suggest complex narratives through the inclusion of everyday objects, psychedelic vistas, and evocative titles. By building up layers of color with an expressive immediacy, she enables her work to become a material record of its own making and, perhaps, an inscription of her thoughts. But, Grosse says, “I am the painting trickster. Don’t believe me!”
In this preview from the ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7 episode Fiction, Grosse describes a “thought based” approach to creating work. Shown at work from Amaral Custom Fabrications in Bristol, Rhode Island, the artist spray paints sculptural elements that are to be included in “Just Two of Us”—her 2013 exhibition for Public Art Fund at MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn, New York. “There is an overall agreement that I have with myself as I start something,” says the artist about her process. “That agreement is based on a judgment.”