Gagosian has announced the Prototypes of Imagination, Katharina Grosse’s first major gallery exhibition in London, following her acclaimed installation This Drove My Mother Up the Wall at South London Gallery last autumn.
Widely known for her spectacular large-scale paintings, in which explosive color is rendered directly onto architecture, interiors, and landscapes, Grosse embraces the events and incidents that arise as she works, opening up surfaces and spaces to the countless possibilities of the medium. Approaching painting as an immersive experience, she uses a spray gun, distancing the artistic act from the hand.
At the center of the exhibition are two paintings of oceanic scale on loose cloth, conceived in direct response to the Britannia Street gallery. Installed in the central space, they hang out from the upper edge of facing walls and spill toward each other across the floor, creating an open path between them for the viewer.
Grosse continues this approach in works on stretched canvas, many of which contain rectangular fields that slide and tessellate like the windows and tabs of a browser. These windows also dissolve into each other, and ghostly organic shapes appear within them, forming bright white silhouettes—both visual apertures and obstructions.
Spatial tensions rise through shifts in chromatic temperature, and with stencils, folds, and other tools she allows for new patterns to emerge, forming visual records of her decisions, thoughts, and actions. In using stencils to either filter or completely block out areas of negative space, opaque fields are created to be interrupted by solid geometries and ambiguous transparencies. The result recalls photograms wherein individual objects are placed on photosensitive paper to produce images using light alone. Here, paint replaces light, as Grosse saturates the exposed fabric with blazing, spectral mists.