For her first institutional solo exhibition in London, Berlin artist Katharina Grosse presents a new work, This Drove my Mother up the Wall, painted in situ at the South London Gallery. Grosse’s large-scale and site-specific works engulf both interior and exterior spaces, unhindered by the traditional boundaries of the pictorial field.
In the South London Gallery's main exhibition space, Grosse has made the void the dramatic centre of her project, masking the floor with a large foam stencil, then painting over it and the surrounding walls. Once she removes the stencil, a bright, white area of the floor is revealed, untouched by the veils of colour and broad, propulsive marks spreading to all sides. This filtering technique is also evident in Grosse's recent canvas works, where stencils are placed over areas of the canvas at various stages of the painting process, resulting in chromatic layers that record her thoughts and actions.
To accompany the painted installation, Grosse has selected two documentary films to be screened in the first floor galleries, intended to frame her creative practice and research interests. In the short documentary from the series Women Artists (2016) by Claudia Müller, Grosse curates a fantasy exhibition by eight other female artists and discusses her selection of artists and artworks, the relationship between their practices, and guides the viewer through a virtual realisation of her ideal group exhibition.
The second documentary film is The Gleaners and I (2000), by Belgian director Agnès Varda, a source of inspiration for Grosse's South London Gallery installation that deals with the marginal, the residual, and the invisible. Filming with a hand-held camera and narrating the film herself, Varda travelled around France, profiling gleaners, from those who follow the country harvests, through to urban scavengers, such as the bricoleur artist who finds objects and transforms them into sculpture, and Varda herself, who ponders the gleaning nature of digital filmmaking.
Katharina Grosse's This Drove My Mother Up The Wall kicks off from 28 September and runs until 3 December 2017 at the South London Gallery.
Image: Katharina Grosse, Rockaway!, 2016. MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! series, New York, USA. © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 / Courtesy of MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez