1989 - 1994

Fine Arts Academy „Pietro Vannucci“, Perugia, Italy
with Professors Edgardo Abbozzo and Bruno Corà


Artist-in-Residence, Lofsdals Gård, Pargas-Parainen, Finland


2015    Gangwon Environmental Installation Art Invitational Artists Exhibition, Baekrak Temple, Gangwon-do, South Korea

2014    Gangwon Environmental Installation Art Invitational Artists Exhibition, Baekrak Temple, Gangwon-do, South Korea

2013    Gerrit Groteloh, Gespannte Verhältnisse / Tight Relations

2011    Kunst bildet, bildet Kunst!, Caesar, Bonn; Initiative Building Bildung

2011    17. Natur - Mensch, St. Andreasberg

2010    Kunst unterwegs; Kulturwerk Rahlstedt, Hamburg

1998    Gerrit Groteloh, Scultura!

1994    Arte & Natura

1992    Varianti Plastiche, Galleria Moretti, Deruta, Italien



Gangwon Environmental Installation Art Invitational Exhibition, Hongcheon, Gangwon, South Korea


Gangwon Environmental Installation Art Invitational Exhibition, Hongcheon, Gangwon, South Korea


Tight Relations, Quartier Fine Arts, Lübeck, Germany


Foyer d'Art Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
Kunst bildet – bildet Kunst!, Research Center Caesar, Bonn, Germany
Nature - Man, Harz National Park, St. Andreasberg, Germany
Group Ohlendorffturm, Torhaus Wellingsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany
Group Ohlendorffturm, Galerie am Rathaus, Norderstedt, Germany


Sculpture Salon, Townhall, Münster, Germany


Liking the Imperceptible, Townhall Gallery, Rellingen, Germany
Art in the Tower, City Church, Wunstorf, Germany


Pas de Deux, Gamla Kommunalstuga, Pargas-Parainen, Finland
Parkresidence, Hamburg, Germany
Liquid Art & Design, Düsseldorf, Germany
2, Marler Kunststern, Marl, Germany


Hidden Treasures, Künstlerhaus Ohlendorffturm, Hamburg, Germany
Run's Poetry, Alpha Eins, Hamburg, Germany


Werkschau, Galerie 'et, Kunstverein Versmold, Germany


The Park of the Future, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Scultura!, Pixel-Film, Hamburg, Germany
Lustschau, Fundbureau, Hamburg, Germany


Galerie Mokkenburg, Groningen, The Netherlands
Alpha Eins, Hamburg, Germany
Gnadenlos/Besinnlich, Galerie Curare, Hamburg, Germany
Xmas, Roosen 32, Hamburg, Germany


Licht An!, Galerie Curare, Hamburg, Germany


Personale, L'Atelier, Perugia, Italy
Arte & Natura, Parco Tevere, Perugia, Italy
Urvinum Hortense, Collemancio, Italy


Laboratorio, Fossato di Vico, Italy
Lavori Recenti, Galleria Kandinsky, Perugia, Italy
Arte & Natura, Parco Tevere, Perugia, Italy
Varianti Plastiche, Galleria Moretti, Deruta, Italy


Profondità Superficiale, Accademia, Perugia, Italy

artist's statement

Runs’ Poetry

The objects of the group of works “Runs’ Poetry” consist of both pictorial and plastic compositions made from nylon knitwear, former stockings to be exact. Although these objects originate from these concrete items and comprise of them, they are nonrepresentational and do not relate to figure. The stockings are but medium.

I do not intend to use the connotations of this medium. I am rather interested in the material itself, its corporeal and visual effects: properties like transparency, elasticity and the phenomenon of the run with regard to their graphic, pictorial qualities.

catalogue text

Katja Behrens

Tight relations

Instinctive, spontaneous, sensible on one hand, and rational, intellectual and conceptional on the other: The art of Gerrit Groteloh puts different materials into dialogue. A dialogue revolving around these materials‘ qualities, turning from one direction into another. A dialogue as unpredictable as artistic creation itself.

The material-inspired works from the series Run‘s Poetry are compositions made from nylon stockings and are simultaneously image and object. The woman’s nylons are stacked over one another, stretched, cut and torn.

Only at a second glance can the material be identified; even though the works consist of these concrete things, they are non-representational. They do not want to portray or represent anything in particular. The stockings are simply material. The associations they evoke can hardly be suppressed, such as eroticism, vulnerability, violence and aggression.

However, to use these allusions for the material is by no means the intention of the artist. Rather it is to hinder the associations to a woman’s leg and analyze merely the material, its physical and graphic effects. Characteristics like transparency, elasticity and the phenomenon of the run in terms of graphic, picturesque qualities are the ones that perturb and keep one engrossed.

The fragility of the material requires certain spontaneity while working. Some things are planned, yet a lot is unforeseen. Objects emerge whose compositions develop from superimposed layers.

Underneath Gerrit Groteloh’s pictures there are always plenty of hidden images. Works develop in direct response to the material, the results are partly accidental, and partly controlled damage to the meshes or other alterations of the material’s structure.

As mentioned, the principle of the controlled coincidence plays a central role in each object’s creation process. Stretched in either one or the other direction, ripped apart, laid in front of one another, cut into pieces: the nylons’ various colors and thickness invariably react differently; they consistently ask for another approach and repeatedly create new graphic phenomena.

The stockings intensify into dark, fathomless hollows or span themselves in flimsy, light veils around each other. They are elongated or superimposed. Yet, the traces of their origins remain constantly visible. They often crack, lose their intended form and are both fractious and petulant. Evidently: the material has a life of its own.

Nevertheless, the active work continually leads to new sensitive experiences that add an objective, not an entirely controllable moment to the artist’s primary subjective expression. The happenstance is taken as a productive creative moment, which offers the chance to exploit the potential of the unpredictable and unrulable.

The objects open into an ambivalent and perpetually unseizable space. Reflections and light suggest motion, modifying the perceived, making one’s own standpoint dubious – and with it the certainties. The image’s internal drama is shaped and increased through light and shade, and through the changing fore- and background, and the mode shifting negative and positive forms.

Light and strong, transparent and at the same time compact, the material entices to be touched. That is because of its own haptic qualities. This might be the most challenging occurrence and outcome of this art: that it is able to restrain the obvious associations and, in lieu thereof, the run’s drama and verse interweave its own narration, entrapping the viewer.


Also in the series Symbiosis materials are not used as a mere design element, on the contrary the special characteristics of form and matter often become the actual content of the work.

Gerrit Groteloh uses objects he has found as raw material, as branches, stones or roots. They are left in their natural condition, upon which a language is bestowed by adding or veiling, not to free them of their material world, but rather to emphasize their being as form.

By the confrontation with luxurious “civilized“ materials such as velvet and silk, the very primordial objects are confirmed and accentuated in their substantial structure. The rockness of the stone, its hardness, its brittleness, the tears and fissures of its surface thrive on their dialogue with the softness and indulgence of the velvet in its crevices (Occlusion, 1994 see fig. above). The material is brought to itself by the artistic interference.

Not only the enhancement of the perception of material properties and structural characteristics is the concern, moreover, the artistic intervention, the sculpting by the artist’s hand is being broached. The olive-tree root, in which a golden ball was inserted, shows this rather explicitly (Cresca, 1998). This root seems to have grown around this almost perfect geometrical form. It is the contrasts of materials, colours and forms, the confrontation of the rampant growing of the natural with the calculable geometry, which represent a central motive of these works.

The artist is the creator of an entity, which is just as committed to the strict laws of mathematics, as it seems to be at the mercy of the chaotic work of nature. Everything is art and still the elementary processing of nature is implied into the becoming of art.

The vitality of grown substance is combined with Euclidean form, “not to compose a utopian model for a harmony of nature and technology, but to confine the special quality of the individual from the universal of geometry”, as the artist puts it.

However, the newer works show that it also works differently (Stella, 2008 and Braid, 2009): If the found wooden objects would not already be visibly dead, the twines and nooses would have strangled them. At the same time the artistic intrusion would have given them new life: as artpiece, preserved and laid out, battered and arranged, an image simultaneously beautiful and frightening.

Gerrit Groteloh’s objects highlight the specific characteristics of the structure of a material and its descriptive effects, but ultimately a small remainder always eludes itself from artistic control. Descriptive phenomena cannot completely be evaluated and planned, and just this shows his art.

Legal Notice

Gerrit Groteloh
Paalende 23
22149 Hamburg

+49 163 7353 093


© Gerrit Groteloh 1990 – 2018, all rights reserved.

For reproduction and publishing rights of the images please contact:

53113 Bonn

fon 0228-91534-0
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