Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro installation now complete
New images available for completed world premiere railway installation, presented by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
PHILADELPHIA — May 22, 2014 — Marking a new chapter of engaging internationally acclaimed fine artists to create socially engaged art, The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program announces the completion of the installation of psychylustro, created by Berlin-based contemporary artist Katharina Grosse, and curated by Elizabeth Thomas,for Philadelphia’s rail gateway and its daily passengers. This large-scale, site-specific public artwork was installed over a two-week period with the artist and her team of Berlin- and Philadelphia-based assistants. New high-resolution images are now available at canarypromo.com/muralarts_katharinagrosse and upon request.
An accompanying audio guide is also available by calling 215-525-1045. Listeners can hear two audio tracks created by media content partner WHYY’s NewsWorks.org: an interview with Grosse and a segment on the history of the corridor, both also available online at newsworks.org/katharinagrossealong with audio and video documentation of the installation process. The guide also includes an audio interpretation by sound artist Jesse Kudler. Images of the installation process, final artwork and additional project information can be found at muralarts.org/katharinagrosse.
A temporary installation, psychylustro is meant to transform over time as the elements reclaim the space. The work unfolds in a series of seven passages — from vast, dramatic warehouse walls to small buildings and stretches of land — meant to be framed through the windows of the moving train, creating a real-time landscape painting that explores shifting scale, perspective and the passage of time. Grosse and her team used the artist’s signature spray-paint technique to spread intense color across the chosen project sites, visible to both train passengers traveling between Philadelphia and New York and local commuters.
With nearly 34,000 daily viewers along that stretch of the Northeast Corridor, psychylustro is a portal for new audiences to experience contemporary art, transforming a routine train journey into a voyage of the imagination. Some sections are also visible from vehicle and pedestrian bridges. A detailed viewing guide will be available at a later date.
The installation is also accompanied by a scholarly publication on the work and its installation, designed by Project Projects and featuring essays by project curator Elizabeth Thomas; artist and writer Doug Ashford, Associate Professor at New York’s Cooper Union and former member of Group Material; critic and historian Daniel Marcus, Teaching Fellow at Art Center College of Design and frequent Artforum contributor; and Anthony Elms, curator at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
Wednesday, June 18, 6-8 p.m.
“Great Gateways, and the Cities that Make Them”
Panel discussion moderated by Chris Satullo of WHYY’s NewsWorks.org
Philadelphia Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St., FREE
Friday, October 10, 6-8 p.m.
“Not My Outside World”
A conversation on abstraction and social imagination with psychylustro curator Elizabeth Thomas and artist and writer Douglas Ashford, Associate Professor at Cooper Union and former member of Group Material.
Part of DesignPhiladelphia, a Center for Architecture Event.
Caplan Recital Hall, Terra Hall, 17th Floor University of the Arts, 211 S. Broad St., FREE
To RSVP to these events, please call 215-685-0753 or email RSVP [at] muralarts [dot] org (RSVP@muralarts.org).
Key Project Information
Artist: Katharina Grosse
Curator: Elizabeth Thomas
Presented by: City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Location: Seven passages between 30th Street Station and North Philadelphia Station
Info & Map: muralarts.org/katharinagrosse
Duration: The project is a temporary public art installation that will transform over time as the elements reclaim the space. For six months, the Mural Arts Program and the City of Philadelphia’s Graffiti Abatement Team will maintain the work as needed; after that time, it will be allowed to gradually fade.
Materials: psychylustrowas created using a Benjamin Moore water-based acrylic interior paint, reviewed for this project by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and approved for use by the City of Philadelphia Water Department.
Local artist assistants: Erin DeRosa (West Philadelphia), Malachi Floyd (Germantown), Diana Gonzalez (New Jersey), Nathaniel Lee (Germantown), Darin Rowland (South Philadelphia), Thomas Walton (Spring Garden) (Artist bios available on request)
Berlin-based installation artists: Arne Schreiber, Beate Slansky
SEPTA Regional Rail lines: Chestnut Hill West, Trenton
New Jersey Transit lines: Atlantic City
Amtrak routes: Northeast Corridor (Philadelphia to New York)
Other ways to see the work: Some passages are visible via vehicle/pedestrian bridges, including on West Oxford Street Bridge between North 32nd Street and West Glenwood Avenue; West Diamond Street Bridge between West Sedgley Avenue and West Glenwood Avenue; and Margie Street Bridge between West Sedgley Avenue and West Glenwood Avenue.
Access to railroad property is prohibited. The public is warned NOT to attempt to walk along, cross or approach the tracks as trains can operate on any track in any direction at any time. Trespassing on railroad property is extremely dangerous and violators will be prosecuted.
About Katharina Grosse
Katharina Grosse (b. 1961, Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster and Düsseldorf with Norbert Tadeusz and Gotthard Graubner (from 1982 to 1990), her extensive journeys brought her to Asia, South America and New Zealand. She was awarded the Villa Romana-Prize, Florence, Italy (1992); the Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Prize (1993); and served as Artist-in-Residence at the Chinati Foundation, in Marfa, Texas (1999). In 2000 she was appointed to a professorship at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee in Berlin, and she is currently a professor for painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
Grosse’s work has been commissioned by institutions around the world, including MOCA, Cleveland; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Museu Serralves, Porto; Tate St. Ives; Kunstwerke, Berlin; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Prospect One, New Orleans; Amsterdam’s De Appel; Paris’ Palais de Tokyo; The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Renaissance Society, Chicago; and the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Brisbane, among many other venues.
Recent U.S. projects include solo exhibitions at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the Nasher Sculpture Center. A commission with New York City’s Public Art Fund is on view at the MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn through Sept. 14, 2014.
About Elizabeth Thomas
Elizabeth Thomas is a curator and writer, currently working independently. As curator-in-residence with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, working to research and propose new forms of public practice, she has collaborated with Mural Arts on projects with Josh MacPhee, Megawords and Temporary Services in addition to the Katharina Grosse installation. Current institutional projects include exhibitions on speculative futures and the intersection of comedy and performance art. She recently edited and published A Variation on Powers of Ten with Futurefarmers for the Bildmuseet in Sweden; and is currently producing a book of interviews on the subject of ignorance and speculation for SALT, Istanbul following her research residency there. She is currently developing a framework for collaborative public practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, with Andrea Bowers as the first resident artist.
As Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator at the University of California–Berkeley Art Museum, she used the university as both a site and a context for projects considering central questions of research, experimentation, and political and social engagement, with artists including Omer Fast, Futurefarmers, Jill Magid, Ahmet Ogut, Trevor Paglen, Tomas Saraceno and Allison Smith, among others. In 2009, she received a Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship to study forms of research, production and presentation in order to imagine new models for institutional and programmatic structures. She lectures and publishes frequently, and has served as Senior Lecturer in both Curatorial Practice and Graduate Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts. She was previously associate curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she worked intensively on the 2004 Carnegie International, and curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center, and has organized exhibitions independently for the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Mass MoCA, Temple Gallery and the Andy Warhol Museum.
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psychylustro is presented in cooperation with Amtrak and has been generously supported by: The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, National Endowment for the Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Fierce Advocacy Fund, PTS Foundation, AT&T, Philadelphia Zoo, David and Helen Pudlin, halfGenius, The Beneficial Foundation with support for the exhibition publication from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Media partners: WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, Metro Newspaper.
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Lincoln Financial Mural Arts Center
Thomas Eakins House
1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
info [at] muralarts [dot] org
To request photos, interviews and more information, please contact:
Canary Promotion, 215-690-4065
Carolyn Huckabay, carolyn [at] canarypromo [dot] com
Megan Wendell, megan [at] canarypromo [dot] com