Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

HAM’s arched halls to be taken over by Katharina Grosse’s all-encompassing paintings


HAM Helsinki Art Museum will re-open to the public in a limited capacity on Tuesday 8 June 2021. The re-opening will coincide with the opening of German artist Katharina Grosse’s exhibition Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets Between Us at Tennispalatsi. Grosse is internationally renowned for her large spatial paintings that she spray-paints over objects, architecture and landscape. In her first private exhibition in Finland, she will be taking over both of the arched halls on the upper floor of HAM. On display will be two new pieces for which the artist will transform the exhibition spaces into massive, all-encompassing spatial works of art. Grosse will be painting one of the two pieces on-site, using the bright and vibrant colours characteristic of her art.

Photo: Jens Ziehe. © 2021 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Photo: Jens Ziehe. © 2021 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Defying the conventions of two-dimensionality, Grosse’s paintings can be considered a form of intervention, painting as she does over architecture and surfaces while paying no heed to boundaries, or as a membrane between different realities.

Grosse paints on all conceivable media, both indoors and out. An industrial spray gun provides the artist with the reach necessary to create her massive pieces. Grosse’s rapid way of working allows her to seamlessly translate thought into action. She uses acrylic paints and ready-made industrial colours that are only mixed to form new tones upon reaching the surface being painted. The finished paintings reflect the artist’s train of thought and movement within the space.

HAM’s southern hall is filled by a three-dimensional painting based on over a thousand metres of cloth tied into knots. The mountain of cloth falling into folds from the ceiling and spreading across the floor was painted by the artist on-site. The dozens of over- and interlapping tones form a vast painting that visitors can step into. With each step, the piece shows a different side of itself. The physical experience of the painting is affected by the observer’s own movement, changes in perspective and the presence of other people in the same space.

Occupying HAM’s northern hall, her second piece consists of a labyrinthine assembly of thin, silky fabrics hung from the ceiling and reaching all the way to the floor. Printed on the fabrics are photographs the artist took in her studios and her previous installations. The photographs show what is left behind by the painting process on walls or floors. They show paintings in the making and finished ones, adapted in scale to the galleries. They revisit the notions of invisible space, absent space and folded matter. The art and artist are gone, yet their presence lingers. The printed photographs move the originally spatial and temporary act of painting and its residue into a new space, where the colours shine as real.

The fabric prints have been previously seen as part of exhibitions in Stockholm and Shanghai, among other places. However, the work to be displayed at HAM is unique in scope and represents a new branch in Grosse’s output exploring the “potentiality of painting”:

With the photographic prints, the pantopia of painting is joined by its panchrony: painting can not only appear everywhere and anywhere, but also at each and any time – it exists even when it is no longer, or not yet, visible. (Ulrich Loock:Katharina Grosse – Pantopochronia, essay in the Katharina Grosse’s exhibition catalogue, HAM 2021).

Born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1961, Katharina Grosse lives and works in Berlin and New Zealand.Her recent institutional exhibitions and in situ paintings include psychylustro, for Philadelphia Mural Arts Programme (2014); yes no why later at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); Seven Hours, Eight Rooms, Three Trees at Museum Wiesbaden (2015); Untitled Trumpet for the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015); Rockaway for MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! programme in Fort Tilden, New York (2016); Asphalt Air and Hair at ARoS Triennial, Aarhus (2017); The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped at Carriageworks, Sydney (2018); Wunderbild at National Gallery in Prague (2018/2019); Mumbling Mud at chi K11 art museum in Shanghai (2018/2019) and chi K11 art space in Guangzhou (2019); and, most recently, It Wasn’t Us at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (2020/2021).

The Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets between Us exhibition is curated by Head of Exhibitions Pirkko Siitari and Curator Sanna Tuulikangas from HAM. HAM will also be publishing an accompanying book with the same title to coincide with the exhibition. Katharina Grosse is also one of the featured artists of the Helsinki Biennial opening in summer 2021.

Katharina Grosse: Chill Seeping from the Walls Gets Between Us / HAM Helsinki Art Museum 8 June 2021–23 January 2022

HAM will be opened 8.6. to a restricted number of customers so that visitors are genuinely able to keep a safe distance of two metres from each other. Up to ten people are permitted in one space at a time and a maximum of 50 people will be permitted in the museum at a time. Museum staff will monitor the situation and instruct visitors so that we are able to maintain sufficient distances. The re-opening will be supported with advance ticket sales and registration, where possible.

Press photos:
hamhelsinki.fi/en/ham-info/media-bank/ (password: hammedia).

HAM Helsinki Art Museum
Tennispalatsi, Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8
FI-00100 Helsinki
Open: Tue 10-17.30, Wed–Sun 11.30–19, closed on Mondays
Tickets: €12/10, under 18s free of charge



Head of Exhibitions Pirkko Siitari, HAM, tel. +358 (0)40 590 8803, pirkko.siitari@hel.fi
Curator Sanna Tuulikangas, HAM tel. +358 (0)40 178 3537, sanna.tuulikangas@hel.fi
Press Officer Karri Buchert, tel. +358 (0)50 304 6707, karri.buchert@hel.fi


Photo: Jens Ziehe. © 2021 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Photo: Jens Ziehe. © 2021 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

About Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala
Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala


HAM Helsinki Art Museum

HAM Helsinki Art Museum looks after an art collection that belongs to the people of Helsinki, which includes over 9,000 individual works of art. HAM maintains and accrues this art collection, which also includes the city’s public artworks. In its domestic and international exhibitions held at Tennis Palace, HAM showcases modern and contemporary art. HAM Helsinki Art Museum

Subscribe to releases from Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Lotta Kemppinen vuoden helsinkiläisurheilija12.6.2021 17:35:00 EEST | Tiedote

Juoksija Lotta Kemppinen on valittu vuoden helsinkiläisurheilijaksi. Kemppinen saavutti EM-hallikilpailuissa Puolan Torunissa hopeaa naisten 60 metrillä 7. maaliskuuta 2021. Kemppinen paransi talven aikana 60 metrin Suomen ennätystä kahdesti, ja matkan SE kirjataan tällä hetkellä lukemiin 7,16, jonka Kemppinen juoksi 20. helmikuuta 2021. Kauden tulosten perusteella Kemppinen sai myös kisapaikan Tokion olympialaisiin. Hänen edustamansa seura on helsinkiläinen HIFK-Friidrott rf.

Helsingforsbiennalen öppnar för allmänheten 12 juni9.6.2021 10:00:00 EEST | Tiedote

Helsingforsbiennalen är ett evenemang för samtidskonst, som öppnar för allmänheten den 12 juni och pågår till den 26 september. Den första Helsingforsbiennalen hålls vid havet, på Skanslandet, som är en unik historisk naturplats. Biennalen presenterar 41 konstnärer eller grupper av konstnärer, och 75 procent av verken är helt nya och har inte visats tidigare. I helheten ingår bild- och ljudkonst samt installationer, skulpturer, videor, filmer och performance. Biennalen genomförs inom ramen för de coronarestriktioner som regionförvaltningsverket utfärdat för evenemang.

Helsinki Biennial opens to the public on 12 June9.6.2021 10:00:00 EEST | Press release

The contemporary art event Helsinki Biennial will open to the public on Helsinki Day, 12 June, and continues until 26 September. The inaugural Helsinki Biennial takes place by the sea in the unique historical natural environment of Vallisaari Island. The biennial presents 41 artists or artist groups, and 75% of the artworks are entirely new and have not been on display before. The works include visual and sound art, as well as installations, sculptures, videos, films, and performances. The biennial will be organised within the limits of the Regional State Administrative Agency’s COVID-19 event restrictions.

Helsinki Biennaali avautuu yleisölle 10:00:00 EEST | Tiedote

Nykytaidetapahtuma Helsinki Biennaali avautuu yleisölle Helsinki-päivänä 12.6. ja jatkuu 26.9. saakka. Ensimmäinen Helsinki Biennaali järjestetään meren äärellä ainutlaatuisessa historiallisessa luontokohteessa Vallisaaressa. Biennaali esittelee 41 taiteilijaa tai taiteilijaryhmää, ja teoksista 75 prosenttia on täysin uusia ja ennennäkemättömiä. Kokonaisuuteen kuuluu niin kuva- ja äänitaidetta kuin installaatioita, veistoksia, videoita, elokuvia ja performansseja. Biennaali toteutetaan aluehallintoviraston tapahtumia koskevien koronarajoitusten puitteissa.

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom