Installation view of Katharina Grosse: One Floor Up More Highly at MASS MoCA, December 2010 to January 2012. Photo by Arthur Evans, courtesy of MASS MoCA.
Berlin-based visual artist Katharina Grosse will transform one of Philadelphia's major transportation thoroughfares with a series of seven bright, bold installations, taking the form of a massive episodic painting along the city's rail gateway between 30th Street and North Philadelphia stations. This impermanent public art project is to be viewed from the windows of a moving train.
Grosse, who typically uses industrial spray guns to apply brilliant color directly upon the walls, ceilings, and floors of museums, looks forward to the challenge of painting on outdoor, gritty urban surfaces that thousands of passengers zoom past every day. "The great diversity of untamed nature, found architecture, and layers of other painted expression offer an exciting and inspiring context for my work," she says. Guest-curated by Elizabeth Thomas, this project represents a radical stylistic departure for Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates: from a social or magic realism to a hot-hued, aggressive, gestural abstraction.
Mural Arts will partner with Amtrak to disseminate informational pamphlets in each train seat back, which will allow train passengers to access the project website directly, as well as a phone-based audio guide with sounds and music chosen by Grosse.