The astonishing reality of things
Ayse Erkmen, Tamara Grcic, Janice Kerbel, Karin Sander
January 15 - March 12, 2016
Opening Thursday, January 14, 2016, 7–9 p.m.
In Katharina Grosse‘s fifth exhibition at the gallery, sculptures and canvases created in the concluded environment of the studio meet works taken from site-specific installations and presented as individual pieces. Here, it becomes obvious how the artist’s two different ways of working mutually determine and cross-fertilize each other.
At the center of the show is a sculpture from Grosse’s installation Untitled Trumpet from the 56th Venice Biennial, where it was buried in the earthy landscape of a colour space. The tondo on display is taken from the installation Pigmentos Para Plantas y Globos, which was shown at the Museum Artium de Álava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, in 2008. In company with other canvases, it stuck halfway out of the soil that had been piled up there.
Playing an important part in the artist’s spacial work is her inclusion of architectural givens, as well as the expansion of the painting‘s support with everyday objects, soil, drapery, canvases, and ultimately, sculptures. Her work with paint dissolves the order of things and the boundaries separating them. Under the acrylic spray paint, the various structures combine with each other to create a multidimen-sional, painterly whole.
After destroying the temporary installations, she employs the remaining sculptures and canvases in new contexts. In the gallery’s exhibition space they achieve the status of independent works of art. The works are characterized by empty spaces and alterations, while referring to their original context and recalling the overwhelming, intoxicating colours of the installations.
Grosse first used soil—a reference to the extraction of pigment as well as to Land Art of the 1960s—in her installation Raumfürraum at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004, as a kind of “material with infinite, malleable structure, as well as an archetypal image to which everyone has an elementary relationship,” as she describes it.
In her studio Grosse continued to develop her treatment of soil and began using it as a template. The artist took painted canvases lying on the ground and partially covered them with soil; then she reworked them in grand gestures with a spray gun and afterward removed the filled grounds. This resulted works that combine diverse ways of painting: besides two-dimensional painting with a brush, illusionary color spaces luminesce, creating a contrast to the leftover soil adhering to the surface of the canvas. The open, processual character of Grosse’s painting can be sensed in the various works seen in the show.
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