Katharina Grosse: Paint is Paint

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Andrea Alessi reviews the exhibition Katharina Grosse: Two Younger Women Come In And Pull Out A Table at De Pont, Tilburg, Netherlands, on view through June 9, 2013.

Alessi writes: "color and technique combination creates a sense of immediacy and presence evocative of both graffiti and action painting. Though action painters readily come to mind, it’s never the “hand of the artist” we see in Grosse’s work, for her apparatus – not to mention protective suit and facemask – keeps her at a distance from its surface. We can calculate her gestures, angles, and positions, but we can’t find a fingerprint. In her oversized paintings (one is so tall it leans at an angle against the wall to fit in the space), time is collapsed into the present and we view every decision the artist made at once. The canvases encompass built up layers formed from masks, stencils, spray paint, and sometimes dirt. They appear to have windows, alternate dimensions, ruptures, and puddles that distort positive and negative space (judgmental distinctions one suspects might irritate the artist). If it’s even possible to pick apart Grosse’s process we must become archaeologists or geologists, excavating the stratified layers of the visible present to work out the past."

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