Katharina Grosse was a member of the Juried Grand Prize committee in 2014 along with Susan Sollins and Leonardo Drew. She was commissioned to create a new site specific installation as a part of All The World's Futures, curator Okwui Enwezor's group exhibition at the center of this year's Venice Biennale.
Grosse's installation, "Untitled Trumpet, 2015", is in the Arsenale venue. All The World's Futures is divided between two venues, the central pavilion in the Giardini, and the Arsenale, a decommissioned warehouse once used by the Italian Navy. The warehouse is incredibly long. The first time I went was not long before it closed, and I thought I saw most of it before needing to leave. When I returned the next day I realized that I had seen less than a third. It just. Keeps. Going.
Grosse's work is an important element of the exhibition in a number of ways, and it's getting great buzz. A lot of the work in All The World's Futures is dark, both in terms of content and color. There are Adel Abdessemed's clusters of machetes welded to look like aloe vera fronds, Monica Bonvicini's clusters of chainsaws dipped in thick black paint hanging from the ceiling, and Olga Chernysheva's quirky and disturbing graphite drawings. Grosse's work, on the other hand, is a riotous burst of color. It's painting, but it feels like it left the canvas in the dust miles ago and never looked back. Jagged styrofoam forms sit atop piles of dirt and rock, draped frabric stretches to the ceiling, all of it assulted by wild gestures of sprayed paint.
The work also breaks up what is a very theory-heavy exhibition. The viewer has a lot to read. Some works don't click unless you're already privvy to certain historical and theorectical precidents. There are videos that require a lot of patience. Grosse's installation, on the other hand, is one you do not need to wait for. Bursts of color, sharp sculptures, and mounds of Earth grab hold as soon as you wander into the space.By Kevin Buist on