Katharina Grosse — The Bedroom


Installation, painting

Katharina Grosse
The Bedroom

Past: September 8 → October 23, 2023

Katharina grosse max hetzler galerie 1 grid Katharina Grosse — Galerie Max Hetzler The Max Hetzler gallery presents, for the first time in its Parisian space, the work of Katharina Grosse (1961), a major painter in... 2 - Bien Critique

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present The Bed, a solo exhibition of Katharina Grosse at 46 & 57 rue du Temple in Paris. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, following her solo exhibition Spectrum without Traces in Berlin in the spring of 2023.

With the installation The Bed, Katharina Grosse returns to a key moment in her artistic practice. It was in 2004 that Grosse painted over her bedroom in Düsseldorf with spray paint, covering the bed including pillow and blanket, the furniture, the floor, the clothes lying on it, a pair of headphones, boxes, books, and walls. In an interview, the artist recounted:

‘Yes, my bed was the first thing that I sprayed over; then the other elements accrued, which introduced a narrative structure and posed primal questions. The bed is indeed a totally archetypal piece — everyone knows what it is, what happens when one lies down, when one dreams. For this work, I identified a very specific elemental situation that we all know and share.’1

Das Bett, 2004, was a turning point, at once a destruction and a new beginning. The tailored suit, for example, which had been sprayed over, could now no longer be worn. At the same time, however, the space underwent a strange transformation. While objects have appeared in pictures since the beginnings of art, they now became the support and surface of a form of painting that was carried out on their backs. The act of painting, performed by Grosse in one sweep, left its mark as a current of energy. The spray gun replaced the brush. Both are among the painting tools regularly used by Grosse.

Katharina Grosse’s painting has since continued to evolve: from the large installation at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2011 to Asphalt and Hair in Aarhus in 2017. If the history of painting were told along the metaphors of ‘window’ and ‘door’, Grosse’s works would be part of the latter. The difference lies in the perceptual standpoint. When we look at a window, we are faced with a different place from which we remain separate, regardless of whether we see a detail of the landscape or if its view is obscured by blinds. If, on the other hand, you face a door, you can grasp the possibility of crossing over or entering something else.

Isn’t that the essence of the bed, too? This place where we sleep, dream or simply toss and turn dreamlessly has long written history. In the 19th century, the court painter Adolph von Menzel drew his unmade bed in chalk, and more than a hundred years later Robert Rauschenberg painted on the quilted coverlet of his bed. In Katharina Grosse’s work, the paint has spread from the bed and thus forms a new surface. It is not the first time that a new idea has arisen from this place. After all, where did the American writer Edith Wharton, the first woman to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, write? In bed.

Julia Voss

Katharina Grosse (born 1961 in Freiburg im Breisgau) lives and works in Berlin and New Zealand.

Her recent exhibitions and on-site paintings include Katharina Grosse Studio Paintings, 1988–2022: Returns, Revisions, Inventions at Kunstmuseum Bern (2023) and at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis (2022); Canyon (permanent from 2022) and Splinter (2022) both at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Apollo, Apollo, at Espace Louis Vuitton, Venice (collateral event of 59th Venice Biennale, 2022); Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us at HAM Helsinki Art Museum (2021); Shutter Splinter at Helsinki Biennial (2021); Is It You? at Baltimore Museum of Art (2020); It Wasn’t Us at Hamburger Bahnhof–Museum für Gegenwart–Berlin (2020); the two-person show Mural: Jackson Pollock — Katharina Grosse at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2019); chi K11 art space, Guangzhou, China (2019); The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Meters, Then It Stopped at Carriageworks, Sydney (2018); Wunderbild at National Gallery Prague (2018); Mumbling Mud at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2018); Asphalt Air and Hair at ARoS Triennial, Aarhus, Denmark (2017); This Drove My Mother Up the Wall at South London Gallery (2017); Katharina Grosse at Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany (2016); Rockaway for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! program, Fort Tilden, New York (2016); yes no why later at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); Seven Hours, Eight Rooms, Three Trees at Museum Wiesbaden, Germany (2015); Untitled Trumpet for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); and psychylustro for Mural Arts Program Philadelphia (2014).

Museum collections include Albertina, Vienna; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen; Baltimore Museum of Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Istanbul Modern; K21– Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Kunsthaus Zürich; Kunstmuseum Bern; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Magasin III, Stockholm; MARe–Muzeul de Arta Recenta, Bucharest; MAXXI–Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Milwaukee Art Museum; Museum Azman, Jakarta; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane; Saarland Museum — Moderne Galerie, Saarbrücken; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto; and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, as well as the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis.

1 See ‘On Painting: Katharina Grosse in Conversation with Isabelle Graw’, in Katharina Grosse, New York: Gagosian 2018, p. 267​​​

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

46 & 57, rue du Temple

75004 Paris

T. 01 57 40 60 80

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