TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT February 1992

THE HEART OF IT ALL: ASTA GRÖTING

IN 1982, WHILE STILL a student at the Düsseldorf academy, Asta Gröting made a six-foot-high scallop shell, perfect in detail, out of mother-of-pearl-toned polyester. Although it was one of Grating’s first sculptures, Pilgermuschel (Pilgrim shell), as the piece was subsequently titled in 1990, is characteristic in its grand scale and almost obsessive materiality. It also introduces a theme that runs like a thread throughout her body of work: the attempt to isolate the creative moment. The Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli embodied this effort in The Birth of Venus, ca. 1485, that painting of the young, beautiful, flower-adorned goddess born of the sea foam, stepping from an open scallop shell.

At first, the theme of creativity, casually worded, might sound quite abstract. Grating, however, is referring to a very specific moment when all action comes to a still point, rather like a ball

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