Step Right Up: Katharina Grosse in Conversation with Gregory Volk
Lecture in IUA Fine Art Department, Friday October 15th
Laugarnesvegur 91- Lecture Room (L193)

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Katharina Grosse, It Wasn’t Us, 2020, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, acrylic on floor, polystyrene and bronze; paint on asphalt, concrete, bricks and metal, 700 x 6,500 x 18,300 cm. Courtesy König Galerie / Gagosian / Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie. Photo: Jens Ziehe. © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021

German artist Katharina Grosse is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant and innovative painters of this era. Her intensely colorful, full on painting installations, which are often intended to be temporary, at once disrupt, fit with, and decisively transform architectural settings and landscapes. Gregory Volk has enthusiastically followed Grosse‘s work since 1995, and has written about her on several occasions. Volk and Grosse will conduct a conversation focusing on Grosse‘s novel methodologies and addressing some of her important themes, while delving into specific works. Images of Grosse‘s remarkable artworks—which radically extend the possibilities for abstract painting—will be shown.

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Gregory Volk

Gregory Volk is a New York-based art writer, freelance curator, and former Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has written for Art in America for many years and now writes regularly for Hyperallergic. Among his numerous contributions to exhibition catalogues and books are essays on Vito Acconci, in Vito Acconci: Diary of a Body, 1969-1973 (Charta, 2007); and Icelandic artist Ragna Róbertsdóttir, in Ragna Róbertsdóttir Works 1984-2017 (Distanz Verlag, 2018).

Volk’s deep engagement with Katharina Grosse’s work and vision over many years informs his book-length essay in the recently published monograph Katharina Grosse (Lund Humphries, 2020), the first monograph to primarily focus on Grosse’s extraordinary painting installations. Gregory Volk has long been involved with contemporary Icelandic artists and art and has visited Iceland many times. He is currently a guest of the Icelandic Art Center and Listaháskóli Íslands/Iceland University of the Arts

Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse was born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1961, Katharina Grosse held professorships at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (2000–09) and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2010–18). Grosse lives and works in Berlin and New Zealand. Her recent institutional exhibitions and in situ paintings include psychylustro for Philadelphia. Mural Arts Programme (2014); yes no why later at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); Seven Hours, Eight Rooms, Three Trees at Museum Wiesbaden (2015); Untitled Trumpet for the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015); Katharina Grosse at Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2016); Rockaway for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! programme in Fort Tilden, New York (2016); Asphalt Air and Hair at ARoS Triennial, Aarhus (2017); This Drove My Mother Up the Wall at South London Gallery (2017); The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped at Carriageworks, Sydney (2018); Wunderbild at National Gallery in Prague (2018/2019); Mumbling Mud at chi K11 art museum in Shanghai (2018/2019) as well as at chi K11 art space in Guangzhou (2019); the two-person show Mural: Jackson Pollock I Katharina Grosse at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2019/2020) and, most recently, Is It You? at The Baltimore Museum of Art (2020/2021), It Wasn’t Us at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (2020/2021) and Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us at HAM – Helsinki Art Museum (2021). Museum collections include Albertina, Vienna; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen; The Baltimore Museum of Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Istanbul Modern; Kunsthaus Zürich; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Magasin III, Stockholm; MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Museum Azman, Jakarta; Museum of Fine Arts Bern; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Perez Art Museum Miami; Serralves Museum, Madrid; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; and QAGOMA, Brisbane. Among the honours she has received are the Villa Romana Stipend, Florence (1992), the Schmidt-Rottluff Stipend (1993), the Fred Thieler Prize (2003), and the Oskar Schlemmer Prize (2014). She has been selected by The Federal Government as a jury member for the 2020–23 stipends at Villa Massimo, Rome, Casa Baldi, Olevano Romano, and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.