Just about 12 years ago, German artist Katharina Grosse initiated a radical and risky extension of her painting, moving off the canvas and into architectural spaces. She began to make her swirling, energetic, intensely colorful abstract works directly on walls and, in some cases, parts of the ceiling; in these and subsequent works, Grosse exchanged a painter’s traditional brushes for air compressors and spray guns dishing out jets of atomized acrylic paint. In Untitled (1998), at Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland, a slightly ragged patch of darker and lighter greens wrapped around one wall to part of an adjacent wall. Though fixed, this work also seemed to float vaporously in the space, rising up the walls like green steam. In 1999, at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, Grosse pushed things further by painting much of one wall and part of another with a fiery confection of red, crimson, orange, and pink streaks and bands.
Infinite Logic Conference, 2004. Acrylic on wall, floor, ceiling, bed, canvas, books, and cot, 388 x 2500 x 820 cm. View of installation at Magasin 3, Stockholm.