KATHARINA GROSSE | WUNDERBILD | NATIONAL GALLERY PRAGUE | 15.2.–30.3.2019
German artist, Katharina Grosse (born 1961) paints monumental tableaux of desire that can be perceived as a sublime act of lovers' embrace towards the space, an architecture and the viewer.
For the National Gallery in Prague, Grosse elaborates a large-scale, site specific painterly installation which radically redefines painting as a performative and architectural medium and responds to the Gallery's industrial space of the late 20s functionalist style. Her “Wunderbild” is an architectural painting, a spatial image which the viewer inhabits with his/her body and mind. The color gains a volume; the flat surface turns sculptural; the pictorial field crosses the limits of the visual. Epic in scale, immersive installation reminds of both a medieval mural and a womb-like cave of a pre-ancient drawing, a post-theatrical chamber of a hyper-technisized, intoxicating environment. The painting takes over the site; Grosse’s gesture is an art of becoming a space. “I’m a painter - the artist confesses - I’m interested in the space generated by the painted image and how it can appear in any kind of existing field, be it architecture or the mundane situations of everyday life. For me, painting isn’t restricted to a canvas or a wall”. According to Grosse, the painting is an unconstrained act of freedom. Her “Wunderbild” in the National Gallery in Prague is an outburst of pictorial generosity. Registering a gestural moment of image’s appearance, it perceives painting as a processual practice of an extreme resilience and flux, a life itself, a mental and physical preoccupation.