September 30, 2020 - Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin - Katharina Grosse: It Wasn’t Us
September 30, 2020

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin

Katharina Grosse. It Wasn’t Us, exhibition view, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, 2020. Courtesy König Galerie, Gagosian, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder. © Katharina Grosse, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Katharina Grosse
It Wasn’t Us
June 14, 2020–January 10, 2021

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin
Invalidenstrasse 50/51
10557 Berlin

A painting by Katharina Grosse (*1961, lives in Berlin and New Zealand) can appear anywhere: in the crook of an arm, on an egg, on the crumpled folds of a cloth, along a railway line, on the beach, in snow, on a sculptural form, or across a street and on to the façade of a building. The notion that painting takes place not just within the limits of the canvas but can transcend all boundaries and permeate every facet of our surroundings is central to Grosse’s artistic practice. For the exhibition Katharina Grosse. It Wasn’t Us, the artist has transformed the Historic Hall of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, as well as the outdoor space behind the building, into an expansive painting which radically destabilizes the existing order of the museum architecture.

Over the course of several weeks Grosse created a vast image that stretches across the central hall of the building, over a large sculptural ensemble and into public space, covering the extensive grounds behind the museum and finally landing on the façade of the so-called Rieckhallen, a repurposed former haulage warehouse which was inaugurated as a part of the museum complex in 2004. The vibrant tones of It Wasn’t Us unfold into a complex multi-dimensional environment in which colors and forms enter into an exchange with the natural surroundings and man-made settings as well as with the visitors and passers-by. As the boundaries between objects and constructed space, and between horizontal and vertical orientations begin to melt away in a dynamic and pulsating interaction of color, new imaginary spaces emerge that are both artificial and ripe with associations, yet at the same time completely real and wholly abstract.

An extensive 216-page catalogue published by Hatje Cantz Verlag in August 2020 documents the painting It Wasn’t Us from its conception and planning through to its installation and final exhibited form. In addition, a series of newly commissioned, interdisciplinary essays offer different perspectives on Katharina Grosse’s practice, including an introduction by exhibition curators Udo Kittelmann and Gabriele Knapstein and contributions by social anthropologist Julia Eckert, theater studies scholar Doris Kolesch, sociologist Martina Löw, curator Daniel Milnes und literary scholar Heather I. Sullivan. In collaboration with author Annika Reich, Katharina Grosse has prepared the text “Painting is an Imposition” for the publication.

Curated by Udo Kittelmann and Gabriele Knapstein.

The exhibition is made possible by Freunde der Nationalgalerie and Volkswagen.

Current exhibitions
Magical Soup. Media Art from the Nationalgalerie Collection, the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof and Loans (until January 3, 2021)
Katharina Grosse. It Wasn’t Us (until January 10, 2021)
Michael Schmidt – Retrospective. Photographs 1965—2014 (until January 17, 2021)
Time for Fragments. Works from the Marx Collection and the Nationalgalerie Collection (until February 28, 2021)

Bunny Rogers. Self Portrait as clone of Jeanne D’Arc (October 25, 2020 until February 28, 2021)
Xinyi Cheng (December 10, 2020 until May 9, 2021)

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin
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It Wasn’t Us
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