Paintings you can Walk Through: The Expansive World of Painting in the Work of Katharina Grosse

By Mary Wenholz.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Can painting as both a medium and an artform introduce new forms of experience and interactivity and in turn is it possible to expand the modernist concept of medium-specificity to include aspects of spatial context and audience experience? Contemporary painting’s negotiation of its placement within the arts and its continual reinvention reveals an artform simultaneously preoccupied with its material status as well as issues related to viewer experience. Through incorporating aspects of the architectural context in which a painting is placed, together with the manipulation of the audience’s interaction with the work, it is possible to create a hybrid space where notions of medium specificity and the potential of painting can be explored. The work Picture Park by German artist Katharina Grosse will function as a case study through which these ideas will be explored. With Picture Park, Katharina Grosse has created a three-dimensional painting that is both an architectural environment and a two-dimensional painted surface. Picture Park functions as a site of disruption within the gallery space, as Grosse’s introduction of multiple viewpoints positions the audience as a ‘roving eye’, moving through and around the painting. While Grosse is interested in questions concerning the practice of painting and issues related to its modernist past, she introduces new possibilities by fusing painting with aspects of installation, architecture, performance and sculpture. Examination of Grosse’s work, along with the work of artists such as Daniel Buren, Blinky Palermo and Matthys Gerber, will provide a framework through which questions related to the contemporary placement of painting and the potential for artwork/audience interaction can be explored.

Keywords: Contemporary Painting, Medium-Specificity, Expanded Painting, Architectural Context, Audience/Artwork Interaction

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.39-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.447MB).

Mary Wenholz

Master of Visual Arts Candidate, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Through her practice Mary Wenholz explores issues related to the contemporary placement of painting and the relevance of its modernist history. Her large format paintings, which are painted on a transparent viny l ground, incorporate the wall itself into the painting’s composition. In this manner Wenholz explores the materiality of painting and its ability to engage with its architectural context. Mary Wenholz is a Sydney based artist who has been exhibiting since 2003. In 2005 she received her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) and is currently a candidate for Master of Visual Arts, both of which were undertaken at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

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