Katharina Grosse - Apollo, Apollo

Hors Les Murs

© ADAGP, Paris, 2022

From 23.04.2022 to 27.11.2022
Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia
Calle del Ridotto, 1353 30124
Venise – Italie
Tél. +39 041 8844318
10.30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

The Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition, displaying a whole new installation by German artist Katharina Grosse. As Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, this presentation has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton “Hors-les-murs” programme, which unfolds at the Espaces Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Venice, Beijing, Seoul and Osaka, realizing the Fondation’s commitment to mount international projects and make them accessible to a broader public.

“Painting leaps into an unknown sense of reality, as present as a house as versatile as a spirit”

Katharina Grosse

Born in Germany in 1961, Katharina Grosse has endeavoured since the late 1990s to make her very personal painting practice a powerful contributory tool to transform the world. Her often spectacular expansive works explore the potentialities of painting, well beyond the boundaries of a frame or canvas, embracing floors, walls, ceilings, objects or entire landscapes to create multidimensional pictorial sites. All her installations immerse visitors in a sea of colour that challenges and disrupts their sensory and physical perceptions. In 2013, Grosse began broadening her artistic scope by printing photographs on fabrics, like polyester and silk. In a dynamic dialogue with the architecture, her wall-sized prints – as seen at China’s chi K11 art museum in Shanghai (2018) or, most recently, at Finland’s HAM Helsinki Art Museum (2021) – display an imagery related to her painting practice, such as photos of her paintings, studio views or her paint-steeped hands.

Katharina Grosse, Study for Apollo, Apollo, 2021

© ADAGP, Paris, 2022

From May this year, her work will be shown in Fugues in Color exhibition at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris; and this autumn, an original work commissioned by the Fondation in dialogue with Frank Gehry’s architecture will be installed on-site. Specifically created for Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, in a black setting largely covering the floor and the wall, Apollo, Apollo features a compositive image of the artist’s hands printed on a metallic mesh fabric, depicting a moment where the boundaries between the artist’s body and the coloured material blur in the act of creating. In the words of Katharina Grosse: “The image is chosen from a series of photographs showing situations or actions, connected to my painting practice in some way or another. […] It oscillates between surface, texture, image and object, order and disorder, destruction and creation, tension and release, forced and freeflowing movement.“

In the Venetian context and imaginative world – Fortuny fabrics, Terrazzo mosaics, omnipresent water and reflections – the metallic fluidity and hued intensity of Apollo, Apollo (a title that works as a mantra with polysemic connotations and condenses and combines mythology with the conquest of space) take on special resonance here. The surface reflects visitors’ movements and contributes to the quintessentially Venetian mirror effect. Apollo, Apollo blends the transparent with the opaque, letting light filter through, creating a gateway to a dreamlike world in which visitors question their own perceptions of reality and illusion.

Katharina Grosse. Study for Apollo, Apollo, 2021

© ADAGP, Paris, 2022


Claire Staebler, curator of the exhibition

The artist

Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse was born in 1961 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. She lives and works in Berlin and New Zealand. Since the end of the 1990s, she has been renewing the pictorial medium by intervening directly on the architecture of the institutions that welcome her, making the spray gun her favourite tool. More recently she has developed her works further by painting on expansive drapes or printing photographic images on very large sheets of fabric in a mise en abîme of her practice.

Her works are notably present in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; the Pérez Museum, Miami, Florida – USA; the Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; the Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany; the Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany; the MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, Italia. Her recent institutional exhibitions and on-site paintings include psychylustro for Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Pennsylvania, USA (2014); yes no why later at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (2015); Untitled Trumpet for the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2015); Rockaway for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! programme in Fort Tilden, New York, USA (2016); Asphalt Air and Hair at ARoS Triennial, Aarhus, Denmark (2017); This Drove My Mother Up the Wall at South London Gallery, United Kingdom (2017); The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped at Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia (2018); Wunderbild at National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic (2018/2019); Mumbling Mud at chi K11art museum in Shanghai, China (2018/2019) and at chi K11 art space in Guangzhou, China (2019); the two-person show Mural: Jackson Pollock I Katharina Grosse at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachussets (2019/2020), Is It You? at The Baltimore Museum of Art (2020/2021), It Wasn’t Us at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Germany (2020/2021) as well as Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us at HAM – Helsinki Art Museum (2021/2022) and Shutter Splinter at Helsinki Biennale, Finland (2021).

Katharina Grosse held professorships at Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (2000-09) and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2010-18) in Germany. She has been selected as a jury member for the 2020-23 stipends at Villa Massimo, Rome, Casa Baldi, Olevano Romano; and since October 2021, she has been the Chairwoman of the board of KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Kunst-Werke Berlin), Germany.