This Drove my Mother up the Wall

With Basquiat’s  Boom for Real show in the British capital (which will be travelling to Frankfurt next year) it has been proven that academics have finally embraced Spray painting, opened their doors, appointed curators and wrote lengthy texts.  This Drove my Mother up the Wall, is the latest painted in situ grandiose work of German artist Katharina Grosse at the South London Gallery (in London).

I am definite that you have all seen Grosse’s work before (if not in person, your instagram feed probably fed the visuals). As her surname suggests Grosse (the great, or large in German, how can you not dominate with a surname like that?) is well-known for her monumental, outdoor installation Rockaway!  as the MoMA press text puts it ” a celebration of the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula following the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012″,  transforming the Fort Tilden’s decaying aquatics building and giving it a permanent sunset.

Courtesy of Sarah Cascone katharina grosse elusive magazine dimitria markou
Courtesy of Sarah Cascone

It won’t be fair to say but when one thinks of spray painting, teenage boys and poor “taggings” overwhelm my mind. It is refreshing and empowering to see a woman do it so eloquently (really trying not to play the woman card). Look at Katharina Grosse’s work, her kick-ass techniques (and imagination) as well as monumental paintings, that overflow the traditional canvas’ boarders and flow to the ground and walls, unapologetically.

Now in London, in the South London Gallery’s main exhibition space, Grosse has made a painted installation, dominating in blue hues. Also, she selected two documentary films intended to frame her creative practice and research interests. In the short documentary from the series Women Artists (2016) by Claudia Müller, Grosse curates a fantasy exhibition (wait, this is a documentary featuring fantasy?) by eight other female artists and discusses her selection of her ideal group exhibition (I haven’t seen the film and cannot wait to discover her selection!).

The second documentary film is The Gleaners and I (2000), by Belgian director Agnès Varda, which “deals with the marginal, the residual, and the invisible. Filming with a hand-held camera and narrating the film herself, Varda travelled around France, profiling gleaners, from those who follow the country harvests through to urban scavengers, such as the bricoleur artist who finds objects and transforms them into sculpture, and Varda herself, who ponders the gleaning nature of digital filmmaking“, that’s what it says on South London Gallery press release. So I am expecting everyday functional (?) objects turned into non-functional art?

Let’s go and see!

Exhibition runs until December 2, 2017
South London Gallery

Imagery credits from the South London show: Andy Keate

ELUSIVE Magazine Katharina Grosse Dimitria Markou South London Gallery

ELUSIVE Magazine Katharina Grosse Dimitria Markou South London Gallery close up

ELUSIVE Magazine Katharina Grosse Dimitria Markou South London Gallery zoom

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