Katharina Grosse paints herself an imaginary world

This Berlin-based artist uses colour to distort surfaces and objects, creating otherworldly installations.

Colour and the effect it has on us has opened up a new avenue of visual design for many contemporary designers such as Laura Daza who explores the ancient roots of pigment or American artist Amanda Williams who has created a series of culturally coded colours in her Chicago Architecture Biennial series, Color(ed) Theory. Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse is interested in colour’s potential to make us think and blur perceptions.

Grosse uses emotive colours like euphoric oranges, shocking pinks or mysterious greens, to transform seemingly mundane materials and surfaces into an imaginary space or object. An old clapboard house splashed with tangerine spraypaint becomes a storybook home and a pile of dirt coated in rainbow colours begins to look like something you’d find in candy land. Her work sits somewhere between reality and fantasy, where our imaginations are challenged and boundaries are blurred.   

To create her colour-rich projects, Grosse uses an industrial spray gun, which gives her carte blanche to colour on a large scale and on any type of surface, be it an entire building or an outdoor landscape.