If you’ve not yet come across Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse's work, she’s known for her unfettered approach to painting, spreading and spraying effervescent colour across landscapes, trees, piles of debris, even derelict beach houses on Fort Tilden Beach in Queens, New York.
Carriageworks has now become her new canvas. Grosse has created a sprawling site-specific piece using thousands of metres of coloured fabric intended to take on Carriageworks’ looming scale. The monumental piece is Grosse’s first ever commission in Sydney, and according to a statement by Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah, it's the venue’s “most ambitious single-artist commission” to date.
Made on-site from a mammoth 8,250 square metres of suspended fabric, Grosse has used a spiraling palette of warm and cool colours to create one of her typical boundary-defying optical illusions within Carriageworks’ cavernous hallways.
“I understand a painting as something that, as we view it, travels through us and realigns our connections with the world,” Grosse said in a statement. “I was fascinated by the thought of folding space. I was interested in taking this vast surface and shrinking it by folding or, actually, hiding the entirety of what’s there.”
The installation is a part of the 2018 Sydney Festival program and is the third presentation to come from the Schwartz-Carriageworks partnership. The series was set up by gallerist and art dealer Anna Schwartz and Carriageworks arts precinct, and has so far included Francesco Clemente’s Encampment, and before that, a survey of El Anatsui’s work.
Katharina Grosse’s piece was unveiled at Carriageworks on January 6 for the 2018 Sydney Festival, and will be on show until April 8, 2018.
This article was updated on January 8, 2018.