“Spray pistol and paintbrush are Katharina Grosse’s painting tools; her supports, stretched canvas, paper strips, walls, and ceilings. Differences run parallel in Grosse’s endeavours. She uses the same painting techniques in different contexts, superimposes and combines spray painting and brushstroke in the same pictures, and intentionally suspends the distinction between picture-orientated and installative painting.” (Rainer Fuchs, “Painting: A Game of Relations - notes on Katharina Grosse, Parkett #63, p. 159)
German artist Katharina Grosse first arrived in New Zealand from Germany in late February 2001. Working as Artist in Residence at Elam School of Fine Art (University of Auckland) she created an exhibition for George Fraser Gallery and significantly, the largest painting ever completed in New Zealand - an enormous outdoor billboard work measuring 6 x 20 metres at Upper Queen St.
Grosse first gained attention in the mid nineties and has exhibited steadily since with a range of installation works and more traditional paintings on canvas, paper and aluminium. Her unusual use of colour and technique has resulted in a reputation internationally as one of the hottest painters to watch.
Her sprayed wall paintings have been seen in Milan and Vienna as well as Sydney and Korea. Although often indoor works, these are not restricted purely to gallery spaces - corridors and stairwells and other through spaces are used to constrain and direct the viewer both physically and visually through the work. They have “…a way of filling the space like sound, spreading their often dissonant vibrations beyond the borders of the works and resonating in every part of the room.” (Sabine Russ, Katharina Grosse, Hammer Projects, Los Angeles, 2001 - 2002) Grosse relishes each new project and commission for its unique blend of architecture, geography and social context, and combines these elements into each new work.