Katharina Grosse

Studio Paintings

Katharina Grosse

Studio Paintings

table of contents


Portrait Katharina Grosse

Photo: Larissa Hofmann

Katharina Grosse (*1961 Freiburg im Breisgau) numbers among the most important contemporary painters. Her works, which often extend far into the external space, have received international recognition and have been shown during the last ten years at such sites as along the railway tracks of the public transportation system in Philadelphia (Mural Arts Program, 2014); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); Venice Biennale 2015; in the framework of the Rockaway! program of the MoMA PS1, Fort Tilden, New York (2016); Triennale Arhus (2017); South London Gallery (2017); Carriageworks, Sydney (2018); National Gallery Prague (2018); Kunstmuseum Shanghai (2019); K11 Art Space, Guangzhou (2019); Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2019/20);  Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2020/21); Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets Between Us at the HAM – Helsinki Art Museum (2021/2022), Chill Seeping at the SCAD – Museum of Art, Savannah (2022); Warum Drei Töne Kein Dreieck Bilden at the Albertina in Vienna (until April 2024).

Her works may be found in the collections of the following museums, among others: Albertina, Vienna; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Baltimore Museum of Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Istanbul Modern; Kunsthaus Zürich; Kunstmuseum Bern; Kunstmuseum Bonn; K21–Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Magasin III, Stockholm; MARe (Muzeul de Artă Recentă), Bucharest; MAXXI–Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Museum Azman, Jakarta; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; MoMA, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; New York; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Katharina Grosse has received various awards and financial grants, including the Villa Romana Prize (1992), the Schmidt-Rottluff Stipend (1993), the Fred Thieler-Prize (2003) and the Oskar Schlemmer Prize (2014).



Katharina Grosse, o.T., 2013, acrylic on canvas, 300 x 257 cm

Courtesy: Museo Helga de Alvear, Cáceres

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Photo: Galería Helga de Alvear

The exhibition Katharina Grosse. Studio Paintings 1988-2023 (25 April – 22 September 2024) presents, for the first time anywhere in the world, an authoritative survey of the works on canvas done by the artist from the late 1980s up to the present. The structure of the exhibition is oriented towards Grosse’s organized yet open method of painting. The selection of works from more than three decades is not presented chronologically but has instead been developed out of the mutual relationships between the individual works, thereby allowing a precise perspective onto her multifaceted, constantly evolving, painterly practice as a whole.

The exhibition is divided into two extensive thematic fields respectively entitled Returns, Revisions, Interventions and Fissures, Reptures.

Returns, Revisions, Interventions features a broad repertoire of works created since the early 1990s; it brings to light Grosse’s processual manner of working in cyclical movements. By means of  overlapping, intertwined strips of color, she achieves a complex interlacing between back-, under- and foreground. Starting at the end of the 1990s, spray paint acquires in her works a dominance that dissolves to a certain extent the materiality of their coloration and transforms it into cloudy veils which extend like an exhaled breath across the pictorial surfaces and emphasize the performative, processual nature of the works.

Fissures, Reptures is connected with this chapter but directs its focus above all towards the methods with which the artist unsettles the medium of painting further and thereby expands its borders. With the help of disparate pictorial elements, she expresses her opposition to the idea of the picture as a uniform entity. One example of her interventions in this regard is the application of stencils which leave empty spaces upon the canvas. Another instance is the use of natural materials such as soil and branches which, when positioned upon the canvas, seem to be artificial and thereby switch the customary relationship between art and nature into its opposite.

Not only with the on-site works but also with the paintings on canvas, the artist’s procedure aims at pictorial experiences which deliberately seek and encounter the risk of openness, the challenge of an inability to plan completely. For this oeuvre, borders should not be considered as limiting but instead as offering spaces of possibility.

The exhibition comprises around forty, for the most part large-format paintings and has been realized in collaboration with the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis (USA) and the Kunstmuseum Bern.

Outdoor sculpture
In Seven Days Time (2011)

Katharina Grosse, In Seven Days Time, 2011

Metall, Polyurethan, GFK, Acryl, 759 x 1826 x 12 cm

Kunstmuseum Bonn, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011, Photo: David Ertl

The Kunstmuseum Bonn and the artist share a connection that has grown over the years. In 2011, Katharina Grosse created for the museum a seven-meters high, twenty-meters long external work which has served since then as a signature for the institution and its pronounced orientation towards postwar painting. In Seven Days Time is neither sculpture nor pure picture but can instead be characterized as a colored form which, covered with explosive spray-painting, thrusts itself in bold self-assertion into the surrounding space so that it can be freshly experienced, not least of all through the complete difference between the handling of color on the front and back sides. Moreover, with more than forty works by Grosse dating from the early 1990s up to the present, the Kunstmuseum Bonn possesses one of the largest museum collections of her works.



The catalogue, issued in collaboration with the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis (USA), presents on more than 310 pages the works on canvas done by Katharina Grosse between 1988 and 2022. In addition to large-format illustrations, the publication includes all works displayed on the exhibition tour along with numerous referential illustrations and studio views. A comprehensive light is shed upon the artist’s oeuvre through essays by Sabine Eckmann, Kathleen Bühler, Graham Bader, Gregory H. Williams and Stephan Berg.

Stephan Berg


The exhibition is supported by:

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