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View of “Katharina Grosse,” 2011.

Katharina Grosse

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)

View of “Katharina Grosse,” 2011.

Was this a very big show or a very small one? Normally a painter might exhibit ten or a dozen works giving a sense of what she’s been up to recently, or, offered a big survey at a public space, perhaps forty or even a hundred canvases demonstrating the development of her practice over multiple decades or a whole career. In Katharina Grosse’s “One Floor Up More Highly,” which occupied MASS MOCA’s Building 5 from December 2010 to January 2012, the German artist showed only two works: a single untitled painting on canvas (dated 2010) and a vast, three-dimensional site-specific “painting” (after which this exhibition was titled) that used the architecture of MASS MOCA itself as material support, along with piles of soil and a large, concave construction of acrylic on glass-reinforced plastic.

This was a folding together of large and small (though the canvas-bound painting was small

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