Katharina Grosse - New Now New York Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Katharina Grosse’s Untitled, 2003, is an iconic example of the artist’s abstract expressionist style. With its energetic swathes of deep reds and jewel-toned greens, the present work conveys a dreamscape of dripping forms that highlight how the artist’s work “is a self-organizing, psycho-physical system” that “everything is attached to."i This psycho-physical system is shared between Grosse and the work; it’s what precisely draws Grosse to making art.


    Katharina Grosse, 2020. Image: Mitro Hood / Baltimore Museum of Art, Artwork: © 2022 Katharina Gosse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Grosse’s dramatic gestures in Untitled recall the heavy drapery used elsewhere in her installations as broad diagonal sweeps of acrylic interrupt one another. The present work pushes “excessive color almost to breaking point,” as it moves us through shifting, prismatic layers.ii Color, Grosse insists, represents raw immediacy, something we experience sensorily rather than analytically as a powerfully disruptive force registered in our bodies. Arcs of yellow, red and green form rhythmic patterns of pure, unmodulated color that animate the expanse of the canvas as they pull the eye in and out, forwards and backwards across the painted surface.

    "What so interests me about art [is] the fact that I can’t really say that my work is defined by my thoughts only, but that there is always some other expression the form takes." —Katharina Grosse

    Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943
    Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943. Artwork: © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Born in Freiburg, Germany, in 1961, Grosse studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where she would later teach painting from 2010 to 2018. First introduced to the spray gun by a friend in Marseille in the late 1990s, Grosse has since incorporated the tool as a defining element in her practice. Given Grosse’s radical extension of the immersive, gestural qualities of Abstract Expressionism, it is fitting that she was commissioned by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2019 to produce a site-specific work that would sit in direct dialogue with Jackson Pollock’s iconic 20-foot Mural from 1943. Grosse’s 2022 installation titled “Apollo, Apollo” at the Venice Biennale most recently reaffirmed her status as at the forefront of the contemporary abstract expressionist movement. Her reference to the sun god translates throughout the work, with light infinitely reflecting and refracting off the metal mesh material. By applying her technique to different media and site-specific installations on a global scale, Grosse’s artwork is constantly in motion and consistently pushes the boundaries of what contemporary painting can be.
    "When I start painting I don’t know where I’m going to end up. I just go step-by-step. The working process is like going through a dérive: you do the right thing at the right time but in a very unconscious way. It’s like psycho-geography, like the drifting type of thought that the Situationists used (...). This is how I paint; I let myself drift. Of course, in parts of the painting I make conscious decisions, but mostly I am unconsciously following where the painting is taking me."
    —Katharina Grosse

    i Katharina Grosse in Haunting & Haunting, exh. cat., Museum fur Neue Kunst Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, 2010, online.
    ii Gregory Volk, Katharina Grosse, London, 2020, p. 10.

    • Provenance

      Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed, inscribed and dated "Katharina Grosse 2003 2003/1010M" on the reverse
acrylic on linen
79 x 52 in. (200.7 x 132.1 cm)
Painted in 2003.

Full Cataloguing

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $189,000

Contact Specialist

Avery Semjen
Head of Sale, New Now
212 940 1207

New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2022