Lot Details

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).


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

Read more
No condition report has been added for this lot. Please contact the specialist for further information.
  • Private Collection, USA.
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 11 x 11 in. (27.94 x 27.94 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer
artnet Assurance Policy: Every artnet Auctions seller has been approved by artnet after a thorough review. All of our sellers are required to accept the following artnet policy: A buyer may return an item purchased through artnet Online Auctions, if the item received is not as described in its listing, or is found to be not authentic.
Please see our full Return Policy for details.

Comparable Works

Log In or Register to view comparable works.