December 9, 2007

katharina grosse

i didn't know about katharina grosse until i had gone home a few weeks ago and in OCD fashion, decided to reorganize all my issues of harper's bazaar. (for some idea of the legendary liz tilberis period in this mag's 1990s heyday, please read this). i think i spent six hours poring through each issue, and in one dated 1999 (elizabeth hurley's nude on the cover, for a frame of reference), there's a three-page article on hip-new-berlin, the up-and-coming art scene of the world. and there is a small picture of a huge wall sprayed in color wash and standing in front of it, tiny, was the back of a woman wearing what looks like a lab coat (which is actually a spray suit). she, the suit, the rest of her clothes, and what appears, her hair are saturated with the same colors.

off to google. it turns out she was a dusseldorf student who painted in the era video / photo / seeds new media was the thing. and what happened eventually are these painted spaces, like messy explosions set off within white-walled rooms or against facades of buildings. i mean, this is big. it's color, it's big, and it's gorgeous! the other thing is that we think of site-specific pieces, but she's working with a compressor, donning full cover mask, goggles, suit, possibly darkness, aiming toward a wall or ceiling or door she remembers. let's say there aren't exactly lines.

No comments: