Katharina Grosse: It Wasn’t Us (Nationalgalerie Berlin)
Udo Kittelmann, Gabriele Knapstein (Ed)
Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin & Hatje Cantz, 2020
The paintings of Katharina Grosse can appear anywhere. Her expansive works are multi-dimensional pictorial worlds in which walls, ceilings, objects and entire buildings and landscapes are covered with bright colours. For the exhibition It Wasn’t Us, the artist has transformed the Historical Hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin as well as the outside area behind the building into an expansive image that radically destabilizes the existing order of the museum space.
The floor of the hall and polystyrene bodies designed especially for the exhibition serve as the basis for the picture, which she has transformed into the final size in several steps and by means of various scales. In addition, the painting extends beyond the building’s boundary into public space, onto the extensive grounds behind the museum and the façade of the Rieckhallen. It Wasn’t Us connects neither inside nor outside, nor museum and surroundings, culture and nature, but rather renegotiates our habits of seeing, thinking and perception.