Katharina Grosse (Frieburg, 1961) is especially known for her large, painted installations. Along with this work, she has continued to paint on canvas. The exhibition at Museum De Pont
shows both facets of her oeuvre and includes, in addition to works produced on site, fifteen paintings that came about in the studio between 2002 and 2012.
A characteristic of Grosse is her use of the paint gun. With this she applies the paint, layer upon layer, in vivid and transparent streaks of color. Inherent in that stratification are two different experiences of time. There is the immediacy of the image as a whole, but there are also the traces of successive actions. Each color represents a subsequent moment in the history of the work's development. Contrasts of color help us to unravel the image.
Aside from directness, Grosse believes, it is also painting's dual nature which makes it unique. The paint's transparent 'skin', small air bubbles and congealed drips emphasize its material aspect. At the same time there is the illusion of depth and movement. On the basis of that twofold character, her painting enters into a confrontation with very diverse supports. These can range from an architectural space to the irregular surface of a large sculpture. With the balloons, the painting complies with the curves of a taut surface, which eventually loosens and becomes wrinkled. Works involving painted clothing bring her in touch with memories of an earlier life that are evoked by this.
In her recent paintings, the energy that so characterizes Grosse's art emerges with even greater force. Within the confines of the canvas, the overlapping marks made by the paint become manifest as an intensification. Through the use of templates, the colors have been channelled into sharply defined trajectories. Around these the canvas has been left blank, as terra incognita, where painting has not (yet) descended.