09.03.2017 - 22.04.2017
Erwin Gross


Press release

At first, the cataract-like movements of the large format, effortless paintings are particularly striking: everything is falling. This vertical dynamic is one of the main features of Erwin Gross’ work. One could say it forms a continuous narrative thread from the waterfall/fountain series to the botanic paintings. Here too, in this empire of botany, everything appears to fall, or at least be about to lose its ability to stand upright and to sink downwards. Or float? The painting suggests a soft sinking, as its texture is often more an intimation than a record, an idea rather than a firmly articulated outline. A brisk gesture is nowhere to be seen. The canvas surface is partly covered with deposits of paint solutions and partly appears to be dabbed with fleeting touches. If at some point, a succinct brush technique appears, it does at most as a fleeting nevertheless concentrated application. Now and again, Gross lays down a concrete area and then, as in Adenia (1993), draws a drop-shaped trail of paint around it in a visual play on the finger-like plant leaves. Overall, however, an atmospheric universe cumulates before the viewer’s eyes. Its subtlety is so far-reaching as to give the impression of a complete lack of hierarchy as if the image’s painterly coherence unfolds only because a whispering consent has materialised between its elements. (Michael Hübl)

In vain might Mme. Loiseau deck her window-sills with fuchsias, which developed the bad habit of letting their branches trail at all times and in all directions, head downwards, and whose flowers had no more important business, when they were big enough to taste the joys of life, than to go and cool their purple, congested cheeks against the dark front of the church; to me such conduct sanctified the fuchsias not at all; between the flowers and the blackened stones towards which they leaned, if my eyes could discern no interval, my mind preserved the impression of an abyss.
(Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Swann’s Way, feedbooks 1992, trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff)


Erwin Gross

born 1953 in Langenbrücken, Baden, Deutschland,

lives and works in Karlsruhe.

since 1990 Professor für Malerei Professor af Painting an der Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe

2000 – 2012 Rektor der Principal of the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe


Selected exhibitions and projects:

Documenta 7 Kassel (1982)

Sammlung Becht / Collectie Agnes an Frits Becht, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (1984)

Ateliers 63, 1980 – 1985, Museum Fodor Amsterdam (1985)

Musée d’Art Moderne Villeneuve d’Ascq (1988)

Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (1997)

Landschaften eines Jahrhunderts, MMK Museum Moderner Kunst Frankfurt (1999)

Transarcadia revisited, Skulpturenhalle Basel (2000)

Up to now, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2003)

Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe (2008)

Kunstverein Reutlingen (2011)

Aller Zauber liegt im Bild, Kunstmuseum Würth, Künzelsau (2011)

Von Ackermann bis Zabotin, ZKM Karlsruhe (2015)