“Katharina Grosse: WUNDERBLOCK marks the artist’s first exhibition in Dallas, and her first exhibition in an institution concerned essentially with sculpture,” said Nasher Director Jeremy Strick. “Normally, the artist’s work has an enormous physical impact on its site, transforming spaces and dissolving surfaces in color. At the Nasher Sculpture Center, no doubt, her work will transform spaces—whether in our galleries or garden. Here, however, it will work not only to dissolve surfaces, but also the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and architecture.”
For more than two decades, Grosse has been making large installations consisting of brightly colored acrylic paints sprayed onto walls, ceilings, piles of dirt, and sculpted styrofoam and fiberglass shapes. Taking inspiration from frescoes, plein-air painting, Abstract Expressionism, and urban graffiti, Grosse explores how painting can “appear in space” – in the realm of sculpture and architecture – by giving color extreme and palpable form.
In the Lower Level Gallery, mounds of dirt covering the floor and spilling out of the gallery will provide additional surfaces for painting, creating an immersive painted environment that visitors walk into and on. Upstairs, a large carved and painted structure will fill most of the gallery, abutting its garden-side window and continuing on the other side of the glass onto the terrace. A small group of works from the Nasher Collection, selected in collaboration with the artist, will also be on display in the gallery. In the garden, visitors will also see two of her large “color-objects”—dramatic volumetric forms made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic—under the trees.
Grosse has named both the large, window-traversing sculpture and the Nasher’s exhibition as a whole WUNDERBLOCK. “Wunderblock” is the German term for an old-fashioned children’s toy, known in English as a mystic writing pad or magic slate, which allows users to write on its surface, then “erase” the writing by lifting its cover. In 1925, Sigmund Freud wrote an important essay called “Notes on the Wunderblock,” in which he compared the operation of memory and the nature of the unconscious to the layered construction of this toy.
Born in 1961, Grosse has exhibited widely at museums in the US and Europe, including the Drawing Center, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Kunstmuseum Bonn; MASS MOCA; MOCA Cleveland; Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and Tate Saint Ives.
About the Nasher Sculpture Center;
Open since 2003 and located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures in the world, the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, Giacometti, Matisse, Picasso, Rodin, and more. The longtime dream of the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher, the museum was designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker.
Hailed by the "USA Today" as one of the great sculpture gardens where art enhances nature, the roofless museum seamlessly integrates the indoor galleries with the outdoor spaces creating a museum experience unlike any other in the world. On view in the light-filled galleries and amid the landscaped grounds are rotating works from the Collection, as well as blockbuster exhibitions and one-of-a-kind installations by the most celebrated artists of our times. In addition to the indoor and outdoor gallery spaces, the Center contains an auditorium, education and research facilities, a cafe, and a store.
The Nasher brings the best of contemporary culture to Dallas through special programs designed to engage visitors, including artist talks, lecture programs, contemporary music concerts, educational classes and exclusive member events.
The Nasher Sculpture Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and until 11 pm for special events, and from 10 am to 5 pm on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for members and children 12 and under, and includes access to special exhibitions. For more information, visit www.NasherSculptureCenter.org.
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