It’s the Philadelphia way: take a vacant wall or un-used space and turn it into art. Thanks to great organizations like Mural Arts, our public art has become one of the city’s biggest draws.
Berlin-based Katharina Grosse is the latest artist to work with the wonderful folks at Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program and she’s about to make your train ride a lot more colorful. Grosse has been working on a series of seven bright, bold temporary installations, called psychylustro, that will line the city’s rail at seven locations between 30th Street and North Philadelphia stations beginning in spring of 2014, visible to about 34,000 daily commuters.
“This large-scale, site-specific public artwork, visible primarily to passengers on Amtrak (traveling between Philadelphia and New York), SEPTA Regional Rail (Chestnut Hill West and Trenton lines) and New Jersey Transit (Atlantic City line), is a temporary installation that will transform over time as the elements reclaim the space. The work will unfold in a series of seven passages — from vast, dramatic warehouse walls to small buildings and stretches of green spaces — 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 is a contemporary painter who creates work that “shifts your notion of size through movement.” She uses a unique spray-paint technique that relies on heavy use of color. “I need the brilliance of color to get close to people, to stir up a sense of life experience and heighten their sense of presence,” she says.
“The title psychylustro combines ideas of the psyche and illumination to convey the work as a landscape of the mind,” explains the project’s curator, Elizabeth Thomas. “The project aims to frame viewers’ railway journey and intensify the experience of their surroundings.”
The installation will take place from April 29 until mid-May. A public opening in mid-May will be announced soon. A talk between Grosse and Carlos Basualdo, curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is scheduled for for Sunday, May 18.
Mural Arts has now released a map of the project sites, available at muralarts.org/katharinagrosse