Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro

Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Katharina Grosse, psychylustro, 2014. Photo: Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Amtrak rail corridor between 30th Street Station and North Philadelphia Station, Philadelphia, PA.

May 15, 2014

Katharina Grosse


The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program presents critically acclaimed Berlin-based visual artist Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro, a large-scale, site-specific public art project designed for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor that transforms a major transportation thoroughfare with a series of seven bright, bold installations along Philadelphia’s rail gateway. Along with her team of artists, Grosse used her signature spray-paint technique to spread intense color across the chosen project sites, visible to both train passengers traveling between Philadelphia and New York and local commuters.

A temporary installation, psychylustro will transform over time as the elements reclaim the space. The work will unfold in a series of seven passages—from vast, dramatic warehouse walls to small buildings and stretches of green spaces—meant to be framed through the windows of the moving train, creating a real-time landscape painting that explores shifting scale, perspective and the passage of time.

“We really want people to see what we see,” says Jane Golden, Mural Arts executive director. “We see the deterioration, but we also see the beauty, we see the history, we see Philadelphia’s past.”

Project curator Elizabeth Thomas explains, “Grosse’s intervention upon this corridor marks points in a recurring cycle of human progress and the forces of man and the natural order that work with and against it. Her gesture reimagines this space, but over time fades and takes its place as one layer among the many natural, social, human and economic layers that impact it.”

Grosse elaborates: “The work shifts your notion of size through movement, so when you stand in front of it, it’s huge, but when you pass it by on the train it becomes small. This kind of experience—that your life is constantly in that kind of changing mode—is something I’ve always been fascinated by. And this time we have an extra tool, which is the train. In a museum you walk, and that’s the way you move. Here, you can fly.”

The installation will be accompanied by an audio guide and a scholarly publication on the work and its installation, designed by Project Projects and featuring essays by Thomas; artist and writer Doug Ashford, Associate Professor at New York’s Cooper Union and former member of Group Material; critic and historian Daniel Marcus, Teaching Fellow at Art Center College of Design and frequent Artforum contributor; and Anthony Elms, associate curator at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art and co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

psychylustro is curated by Elizabeth Thomas.

Upcoming events
Sunday, May 18, 2–3pm
A conversation with artist Katharina Grosse and Carlos Basualdo, the Keith and Kathy Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Free reservations at philamuseum.org

Wednesday, June 18, 6–8pm
“Great Gateways, and the Cities that Make Them”: Panel discussion moderated by Chris Satullo of WHYY’s NewsWorks.org
Philadelphia Center for Architecture
1218 Arch St., Philadelphia PA 19107

Friday, October 10, 6–8pm
“Not My Outside World”: A conversation on abstraction and social imagination with psychylustro curator Elizabeth Thomas and artist and writer Douglas Ashford, Associate Professor at Cooper Union and former member of Group Material. 
Caplan Recital Hall, Terra Hall, 17th Floor
University of the Arts
211 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

For additional press information, contact Canary Promotion, T +1 215 690 4065 or visit canarypromo.com/muralarts_katharinagrosse.

For general information, call T +1 215 685 0750 or visit muralarts.org/katharinagrosse.

psychylustro is presented in cooperation with Amtrak and has been supported by:
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, National Endowment for the Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Fierce Advocacy Fund, PTS Foundation, AT&T, Philadelphia Zoo, David and Helen Pudlin, halfGenius, The Beneficial Foundation with support for the exhibition publication from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Media partners: WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, Metro Newspaper.


City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program presents Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro
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Mural Arts Philadelphia
May 15, 2014

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