Walking into Gagosian, an image of that famous photograph of Richard Serra hurling lead at the junction between the floor and the wall came into my head. There is something of the same disdain for convention and quality of taking the bull by the horns in the work of Katarina Grosse.
Her slingshot however is a giant spray gun which she uses at speed, draining vast canisters of unmixed acrylic paint in the process Despite the scale, some passages have the delicacy of a vastly magnified Kupka painting.
Colour is not what her work is about, it is colour. And the release of the colour is of course dramatic and performative.’ I see painting as the screen between the mental and the materialised. I walk through the screen to get in touch with the real world and turn my back on the real world by returning via the painting’.
Some of her most spectacular work has been made outside. Whole hillsides , groups of massive trees, even stretches of the terrain that you see from a moving train, have all been coated with the light of her mists of colour. There is little sense of this grandiosity however in this exhibition. Apart from the wonderful painting that extends the length of the central gallery, the rest of the individual paintings seem cramped and even slightly congested by comparison. It is not a fair introduction to the work of this remarkable artist .
Katharina Grosse ‘Prototypes of Imagination’ is at Gagosian, 6-24 Britannia Street WC1X 9JH until 27 July