Katharina Grosse: Prototypes of Imagination, Gagosian Gallery, review: “a pulsating quality that transfixes”

'Huge arcs of messy spray': an Installation view of Prototypes of Imagination. © 2018 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photograph: Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy Gagosian

‘Huge arcs of messy spray’: an Installation view of Prototypes of Imagination. © 2018 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photograph: Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy Gagosian

If you like colour and texture, you must see Katharina Grosse’s paintings. Her large-scale abstract works currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery Britannia Street are orgies of chromatic intensity oozing vibrancy and depth.

Sprayed onto the canvass, the paint retains a liquidity evocative of street art, drops, smudges and all. Yet the huge arcs of messy spray are often sliced by straight lines and boxes (created with stencils) reminiscent of more traditional forms of painting. Fields of white space are thereby intercalated with the intense layering of hue on hue.

Another view of Prototypes of Imagination. © 2018 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photograph: Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy Gagosian

Another view of Prototypes of Imagination. © 2018 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photograph: Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy Gagosian

Prototypes of Imagination is Katharina Grosse’s first major gallery exhibition in London. Grosse is perhaps known for ‘in situ paintings’ where paint is sprayed onto ambient objects. Something of this technique is evident in the centrepiece of this show – a wall-sized canvas that hangs from the ceiling and flows out over the floor of the gallery.

Katharina Grosse. Photograph: Max Vadukul

Katharina Grosse. Photograph: Max Vadukul

For the Berlin-based artist, painting is an experience in immersive subjectivity, and the physicality of paint being literally shot onto the canvas gives these works a pulsating quality that transfixes.

Katharine Grosse: Prototypes of Imagination is on at the Gagosian Britannia Street (6-24 Britannia Street, WC1X 9JD) until 27 July

%d bloggers like this: