Asta Gröting

DEU (1961). Lives and works in Berlin.


Kartoffeln, 2012
100 potatoes, nickel and silver, 40 x 60 x 76 mm each
Dimensions: 20 x 56 x 52 cm (variable)

Artists such as Joseph Beuys, Norbert Kricke, Bruce Nauman, and Klaus Rinde inspired the German artist Asta Gröting’s first sculptures. In the early nineties, Gröting incorporated video and performance into her projects. These new tools enabled her to distance herself from materials—and their management and storing—bringing her closer to her desire to “say more with less material.” Nevertheless, in an artistic turnabout, she returned to sculptural practice.

Kartoffeln (Potatoes) is made up of one hundred clearly identifiable potatoes, only that they are contradictively forged from noble materials: nickel and silver. This sculpture
references the basic questions of human existence such as social familiarity, the body, and feeding. The materiality of the potatoes dramatizes the concept of “fruit of the land.” It also indicates the ambivalence of beauty in a common thing.

Gröting is firmly planted in the artistic tradition of the twentieth century in which any everyday item can achieve the status of art. Her sphere of action expands through the use and modification of the objects in our lives. She takes the object as a starting point. The object remains recognizable but takes on other materials in its representation
(pearls, magnets, bronze, glass, cable, and motors), changes its size, or takes a turn, making the invisible visible. She seals her works with blunt titles lending simplicity to what is otherwise complex.