KAT_A_4, 2018
Katharina Grosse und Yves Klein

The fourth exhibition at KAT_A, “Katharina Grosse and Yves Klein,” was devoted to the different artistic opportunities that the medium painting affords. Here the renowned painter Katharina Grosse and the well-known master of classic modernism, Yves Klein, were placed opposite one another, or rather in a dialogue with each other, in order to spotlight each of their outstanding positions in working with color and painting in relation to architecture, space and light. Both artists define painting in completely different ways and both extend the boundaries of the medium. Grosse and Klein succeed with different approaches and experiences in expanding the viewer’s powers of imagination and making the perception of color an intense encounter. The cofounder of the “Nouveaux Réalistes,” Yves Klein (1928-1962) strived to create dematerialized art with his monochrome pictures in the favored colors blue, gold and red. With his concentration on one color and the development of his unique shade of ultramarine, he sought to depict his imagination of eternity. Luminous, profound and decorative at the same time, this pure color became a synonym for the freedom of the viewer and the endless possibilities of the imagination. In a completely different way, Katharina Grosse also creates artistic prototypes of possible realities. In works relating to the spaces they are in, she also dissolves the boundaries of the imagination and instead of displaying reality, drives it forward with the medium of painting. With her sprayed work, she transforms whole spaces into complex worlds of color that wander beyond the frame to the outside world of architecture and landscape. Her approach to painting, often termed “anarchic,” is an abstract, masterly and spontaneous gesture that creates amorphic apparitions. The spontaneity is an expression of the lack of predictability in the creative process. Katharina Grosse is interested in leaving linear ways of thinking behind and she tries to open the boundaries of the object and materialize it anew. In her works, the capacity of the imagination is celebrated literally and abstraction is used as a means of daring “to leap into paradoxical reality” (Grosse).

Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu, IKB, 1959, reines Pigment in Kunstharz auf Leinwand auf Sperrholz, 72 x 90 cm © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018 & The Estate of Yves Klein