Friday, April 22, 2005

Katharina Grosse lecture Part 3

Continuing with the recent Katharina Grosse lecture - the previous post is here.

After all of these big public projects Grosse wanted to work in her own private sphere - she ended up doing her own bedroom. I have no idea how much of this remains, can't imagine sleeping on a spray-painted bed is very comfortable. Makes me think of Rauschenberg's bed.

The next public project was in a big cube space and she needed something little to draw people in and break up the space - so she put a bed in it. The bed is a type of "space unit". This is kind of interesting - a room is a space unit, a bed is a space unit, your clothes are space units, even a book is a space unit. I'm not sure exactly what she means by this but it is interesting to think about your clothes and books as "space units" and wonder where Grosse might go with the idea. Her paintings already include a time element in the "negative image" left behind when she paints over something like a door handle, a book has a whole other way of thinking about both space and time.

She ended the lecture with photos from her last show at Christopher Grimes. This looks like it was a really cool show. She had a room with a futon on the floor painted over, spraypaint on the walls, along with "straight" paintings. She placed a big stretcher on one wall before she went to down on it with her spray gun and afterwards removed that painting, leaving a big white rectangle on the wall. The removed painting is beautiful! For some reason I immediately thought of some of the landcsapes I saw in the the fantastic American Sublime show a few years ago. It was like a big South American rainbow Frederick Church painting. Most of her straight paintings are big circles, or include colored circles or dots - these are a reference to the little drops of spray that edge any sprayed wall piece.

After the lecture Gregory Volk had a question about her process - how much does she plan beforehand? She answered that at first she would make little models of the spaces she would be working in and set up all sorts of rules for herself but now she works much more intuitively. No models, no prefabricated ideas, more about the time and the amount of materials available and the size of the space. Her use of color is dependent on both the light situation and simply how much of a color she has available. Probably the best thing she said is that she freed herself to do anything by understanding that "There is no way it can go wrong. That's clear now but it took a while to understand it."

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