Interview: Why Katharine Grosse Didn’t Paint Bomb the Nasher Sculpture …

When I heard that German artist Katharine Grosse would open a show at the Nasher Sculpture Center, I was surprised the Nasher would risk allowing Grosse and her paint spray gun into the hallowed halls of Renzo Piano’s travertine-walled museum. In much of Grosse’s work, paint begins on a canvas and expands into the gallery space, cover all available surfaces – walls, floor, ceilings, objects. Would Grosse do the same in the Nasher, would she be allowed to slather the travertine with her cool blues and sulfurous yellows?  After all, the Nasher required visitors to wear paper booties when climbing on Ernesto Neto’s installation, a silly, overly-precautious gesture that reminded visitors in the midst of Neto’s playful effort to dismantle notions of museum decorum that a museum is still meant to be a sterilized space.

In the end, Grosse didn’t spoil the travertine. Instead, her piece includes an elongated

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