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Rainer Gross (German, b.1951)
LOT ID: 76137
Nelson, 2005

Oil, and Pigments, on Canvas, Mounted on Wood
11 х 11 in. (27.94 x 27.94 cm.)
Signed, "Rainer Gross, 2005, 11 x 11'', oil + pigments on canvas on wood" on verso
Lot description
Executed in oil and pigment on canvas mounted on wood, ‘Nelson’ was created within a larger series entitled ‘Contact Paintings’, in which Rainer Gross plays with ideas of control and chance. Methodologically applying paint and pigment heavily to two canvases, the artist pressed them together and thus allowed for an unpredictable result to occur. The textural surface impressed by the canvas weave hints at natural patterns of decay, while capturing the aesthetics of what’s raw and elemental in Gross’ artistic approach. The title ‘Nelson’ was chosen at random from a phone directory, further emphasizing Gross’ perspective on the role of the artist in embracing chance and expectations.

With an appreciation for traditional painting yet a desire to re-define the painting process, German-born artist Rainer Gross (b. 1951) has utilized distinctive methods to create works that challenge the existing genre of painting. Gross abandoned his studies at Cologne Werkkunstschule in 1973 in order to move to New York City, where he gained unmatched exposure and knowledge under Howard Kanovitz and later Larry Rivers. Gross’ oeuvre includes experimentation with both abstract and figurative works, and has recently gained fame for his ‘Contact Series’ an ongoing project spanning 1998-2006. Within this grouping of works, Gross exercises his ability to act as a mediator between that which is calculated and that which is unpredictable. His “Contact paintings” are produced through the application of a layer of pure water-based pigment onto one canvas and oil paint onto the surface of the other, and only after the canvases have been pressed onto one another and left overnight do the works take on their true, unmediated form. The artist has exhibited at numerous venues internationally including shows at Galerie Stefan Ropke, Cologne, Germany (2011); Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY (2011); and Stephen Haller Gallery, New York, NY (2007). Gross is also included in the collections of Sala Municipal Robayera (Miengo, Spain).

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Kunsthalle Emden, Foundation Henri Nannen, Emden, Germany
Hirschhorn Collection, Washington D.C.
Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany
Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
Krannert Art Museum, Champaign IL. USA
Rathhaus - Stadt Köln
Stadtmuseum Cologne, Germany
Museum Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany
Städtische Galerie Bergisch-Gladbach, Villa Zanders, Germany

Nelson by Rainer Gross
  • Nelson by Rainer Gross
  • Nelson by Rainer Gross
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