Katharina Grosse, color in all its glory at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris

At the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the exhibition “La Couleur en fugue” brings together until 29 August five creations by five contemporary artists around the theme of color. Focus on art by Katharina Grosse, an artist of German origin who is celebrated for her works in iridescent colors that transform the space.

Color can transform the space. Color allows you to multiply perspectives. And Katharina Grosse’s work amplifies the forces of color. His works, often created on site, throw visitors into multicolored baths that are used on a large scale for architectures that are transformed by them. Her magnificent intervention produces sensory surprise and freedom, where, as she puts it: Colors reach your senses before you know what it’s all about. In other words, in a visceral way, before any rationalization …


His technique

At the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, the German artist enters into a dialogue with Frank Gehry’s architecture, which she particularly appreciates. It intervenes at a height of 15 meters by Gallery 10, the building’s most spectacular, where a zenithal light penetrates. As is often the case, she begins by covering the surfaces with white paint, a way of resetting the place before heading out into the unknown. With a large tool: an industrial spray gun that replaces a brush.

Splinters by Katharina Grosse, 2022, acrylic on plywood, wall and floor, 1750 x 1000 x 2200 cm, presented at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris © ADAGP, Paris 2022. Photo: © Myriam Boutoulle

Her body and her gesture are extended by this tool, with which she forms vortices, vortices, vortices of bright, often dazzling colors. It thus produces an existential dizziness because the usual cues dissolve to make room for the spontaneity of the senses. Boundaries and scales are blurred, boundaries are blurred: imagination and inventions have free play. First for herself: ” I do not imagine how the work will be done, she says. But in the beginning, I have a set of premises or thoughts that make me act a certain way when I paint.. »

color in abstraction

But for the Foundation, she has designed a monumental object that she adds to her intervention. Splinter [éclat] is composed of nineteen triangles of painted wood superimposed at a height of ten meters. The object appears to rise and fall at the same time in an upward and downward motion, increasing the dizziness of the whole. Emptiness attracts the German artist who questions it from the point of view of a painting.

Splinter (detail), 2022, Katharina Grosse, acrylic on plywood, wall and floor.  ADAGP, Paris 2022 Louis Vuitton Foundation / Marc Domage

Splinter (detail), 2022, Katharina Grosse, acrylic on plywood, wall and floor. ADAGP, Paris 2022 Louis Vuitton Foundation / Marc Domage

How can painting exist there, secure its currents and waves there? For Canyona room so named because it comes alive under the glass ceiling and is visible at all levels of the foundation, Grosse imagines a permanent work (Canyon) composed of eight wide strips of aluminum forming a multicolored crown. It reveals new dimensions of space. ” Color is where our brain and universe meet said Paul Cézanne. Katharina Grosse reinvents this meeting.

Katharina Grosse, Splinter, 2022 Acrylic on plywood, wall and floor 1750 x 1000 x 2200 cm.  Installation view of the exhibition La Couleur en fugue at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.  © ADAGP, Paris 2022 © Louis Vuitton Foundation / Marc Domage

Katharina Grosse, Splinter, 2022, acrylic on plywood, wall and floor 1750 x 1000 x 2200 cm. Installation view of the exhibition La Couleur en fugue at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. © ADAGP, Paris 2022 © Louis Vuitton Foundation / Marc Domage

As pioneers of abstraction, Kupka and Kandinsky had done in their own way. As Pollock had dared with his natural impulses and abstract variations. And if Katharina Grosse as Sol Lewitt looked much at the Italian frescoes of the Renaissance, her impulse turns to the unknown while using caches and projections of pigments, as cave painters did. To imagine another version of the world, also contained in colors.


“Color on the run. Gilliam, Parrino, Toroni, Fat, Rooney»
Louis Vuitton Foundation
8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi, 75016 Paris
www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr
Until August 29

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