b.1961 Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Katharina Grosse is one of the most inventive and intriguing painters working today. Through a fusion of painting with architecture and sculpture, Grosse produces a physically immersive experience for the viewer, choosing to work directly onto walls and objects using an industrial spray gun.  Her spray-painted works enliven surfaces as vast and unorthodox as building exteriors, disused bunkers and massive dirt piles, as intimate as her own bed, bookshelves and clothing, as conventional as a stretched canvas or paper.  Her method draws from a combination of art historical traditions—from fresco, plein-air painting, Abstract Expressionism, and street graffiti.

Grosse’s work can be contextualised in relation to an earlier generation of German post-war artists, including Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, and Blinky Palermo. These artists were at the forefront of a new focus on conceptual painting that rose to prominence in the 1960s. While Grosse’s work engages with some of the same conceptual concerns as this group, it steps further into the realm of the expanded field of painting – that is painting that extends beyond conventions of two-dimensional supports, traditional media, and containment to a picture plane. An example of this is her 2016 work Rockaway, whichtransformed an abandoned New York seaside building into an artwork. Grosse spraypainted the building and its surrounds to create an immersive artwork.

Whilst operating on an entirely different scale, Grosse’s approach to the two-dimensional surface of a canvas reflects her expanded field thinking. Such works are notable for lavish colours, complex layering, and non-conventional methods of paint application. Colour is essential to Grosse, and she achieves intense, visceral arrangements through careful blending and application of primary and secondary colours. Each hue has the function of distinguishing between different movements and her extremely physical process of application is reflected within the pictorial space.

Born and based in Germany, Grosse’s work has been commissioned by institutions around the world, including Amsterdam's De Appel, Paris' Palais de Tokyo, The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Brisbane. In 2017, Grosse had her first solo exhibition at Gagosian New York.

Gow Langsford Gallery has represented Katharina Grosse since 2004.

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