About The Project


Katharina Grosse

Completion Date

16 May 2014


Northeast Rail Corridor between 30th Street Station and North Philadelphia Station

  Press Release (3/10/2014)

How does a routine train ride become a voyage of the imagination? In the spring of 2014, a large-scale, site-specific work of art rendered in explosive color will animate the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor rail line through Philadelphia. Acclaimed contemporary artist Katharina Grosse’s  psychylustro will create a choreographed experience that moves viewers through time and space, illuminating the rubble, the wild eruptions of nature, and the man-made contradictions of decay and rebirth in a post-industrial American city.

This episodic work of public art — a temporary public art installation that will transform over time as the elements reclaim the space — will unfold in a series of passages framed through the windows of the moving train, creating a real-time landscape painting that explores shifting scale, perspective and the passage of time.

“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.”

– Katharina Grosse

How can I view the work?

By train, bike, car or foot. Your best views will be from a train running between 30th Street and North Philadelphia stations, visible to both Philadelphia commuters and those traveling between New York and Philadelphia. The trains that travel this corridor are: Amtrak, SEPTA Regional Rail (Trenton Line, Chestnut Hill West Line) and NJ Transit (Atlantic City Line). Some passages will also be viewable from vehicle and pedestrian bridges. Stay tuned for a detailed map and viewing guide.     


Artist talk at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sunday, May 18
2 p.m.
Additional details and registration information forthcoming

“There’s a potential in painting that I love – that it can be anywhere.
There’s no one right angle, no one right way to see the work.”
– Katharina Grosse

Funding and Support

Commissioned by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Curated by Elizabeth Thomas

Presented in cooperation with Amtrak, psychylustro is made possible through the generous support of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. An accompanying exhibition publication is supported in part by a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.





Media Partner: Metro Newspaper
Content Partner: WHYY's Newsworks

About Katharina Grosse

One of the most significant painters on the contemporary art scene, Katharina Grosse (b. 1961, Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany) is known for her inventive use of vibrant color and innovative fusion of painting, sculpture and architecture. Grosse lives and works in Berlin. Educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster and Düsseldorf with Norbert Tadeusz and Gotthard Graubner (from 1982 to 1990), her extensive journeys brought her to Asia, South America and New Zealand. She was awarded the Villa Romana-Prize, Florence, Italy (1992); the Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Prize (1993); and served as Artist-in-Residence at the Chinati Foundation, in Marfa, Texas (1999). In 2000 she was appointed to a professorship at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee in Berlin, and she is currently a professor for painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Grosse’s work has been commissioned by institutions around the world, including MOCA, Cleveland; MassMoCA, North Adams; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Museu Serralves, Porto; Tate St. Ives; Kunstwerke, Berlin; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Prospect One, New Orleans; Amsterdam's De Appel; Paris' Palais de Tokyo; The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Renaissance Society, Chicago; and the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Brisbane, among many other venues.

Select Work by Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse, Just Two of Us, 2013
Acrylic on glass-fiber reinforced plastic
Presented by Public Art Fund, NY
On view at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn, October 27, 2013 - September 14, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Johann König, Berlin
Photo: James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

Katharina Grosse, WUNDERBLOCK, 2013
solo exhibition at The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX
acrylic on glass-fiber reinforced plastic
430 x 260 x 2.040 cm
Courtesy of Katharina Grosse und VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2013
Photo: Kevin Todora

Katharina Grosse, Two Younger Women Come In and Pull Out a Table, 2013
Acrylic on latex and PVC balloons
De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, Netherlands
157½ x 1299¼ x 984¼ in.
Courtesy of Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2013
Photo: Peter Cox

The Blue Orange
Station House, Vara, Sweden
Courtesy of Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2013
Photo: Studio Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse, In Seven Days Time, 2011
Acrylic on glass fiber-reinforced plastic
Permanent outdoor installation, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
362 ¼ x 767 5/8 x 4 ¾ in.
Courtesy of Katharina Grosse und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2013
Photo: David Ertl

Katharina Grosse, One Floor Up More Highly, 2010
Acrylic on soil, wood, clothing, Styrofoam and glass fiber reinforced plastic
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, MA
590 ½ x 787 3/8 x 275 5/8 in.
Courtesy of Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2013
Photo: Art Evans

IMPORTANT NOTE: Access to railroad property is prohibited. The public is warned NOT to attempt to walk along, cross or approach the tracks as trains can operate on any track in any direction at any time. Trespassing on railroad property is extremely dangerous and violators will be prosecuted.