All the drugs in the world couldn’t replicate the cosmic head screw of Katharina Grosse‘s latest art installation, which closed recently at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). One Floor Up More Highly is what an abstract painting would look like if it floated into the third dimension: 20-foot-tall soil knolls spray-painted in woozy neon patterns collide with giant shards of hot wire-cut Styrofoam in a gallery space that’s bigger than most people’s homes.
This is Grosse’s specialty. The Berlin artist has dangled huge colorful balloons from gallery ceilings and painted the walls and floors of stuffy art museums to resemble psychedelic moonscapes. Her work cleverly rethinks painting: Rather than apply paint to a boring old flat surface, Grosse sets her brush (or rather, her spray gun) to any and all surfaces. In doing so, she gives painting a free-wheeling, experiential quality–one that ventures boldly into the realm of sculpture and architecture as if someone had handed Wavy Gravy a T-square.
[Images courtesy of MASS MoCA]