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Katharina Grosse
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by Patricia Mora


Katharina Grosse, ''Wunderblock,'' 2013, acrylic on glass-fiber reinforce plastic, four parts, ca. 169 1/4 x 102 3/8 x 803 1/8''. Photo: Kevin Todora

 

Continuing through September 1, 2013


With seeming effortlessness, Katharina Grosse's “Wunderblock” proves to be a wild romp of a show. The Berlin-based artist utilizes the motifs of frescoes, plein-air painting, urban graffiti and Abstract Expressionism to create spaces blasted by color from spray guns. Walls, ceilings and even soil become fair game for art that escapes canvases to morph into painting-sculpture hybrids. The gem and genuine showstopper of the exhibition occupies the museum’s downstairs space. Composed of heaped soil, there is a makeshift shelter canted to provide what could be construed as protection from Grosse’s apocalypse of color. Visitors walking through the artist’s fabricated cosmos have left gradually widening paths through it that operate as metaphors of evolution in her bright, anarchical world.

 

I must admit that I didn’t initially warm to Grosse’s work. However, given time to ponder what it means to work energetically on corners and other architectural shapes, her work transcended my prejudices of what art should be and do. It ultimately became a reminder that we are defined by our ability and willingness to “make meaning.” There’s no greater joy than to operate as a participant in the artistic process, and that is exactly the point of “Wunderblock.” I very much enjoyed (figuratively) bumping my head on glass barriers and going beyond them. It’s analogous to how we learn — and kudos to Grosse for showing us the way.


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