About The Project


Katharina Grosse

Completion Date

16 May 2014


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

How can a train ride become a voyage of the imagination? Since Spring 2014, contemporary artist Katharina Grosse’s psychylustro has been changing the way thousands of people think about getting from point A to point B. Every day, train riders traveling in and out of Philadelphia catch glimpses of this monumental creation, which unfolds in a series of seven bright, bold passages that explore scale, perspective and the passage of time. Conceived as a temporary installation, psychylustro was completed in May 2014, but changes over time as the elements gradually reclaim the space. Think of it as a real-time landscape painting, where the ever-evolving city is the canvas and your window is the frame.

“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: between 30th Street and North Philadelphia stations: Amtrak, SEPTA (Chestnut Hill West, Trenton lines), NJ Transit (Atlantic City line).
By bike or foot: some passages will be viewable from vehicle and pedestrian bridges.

The same passage in May and July, 2014. For more information on the environmental impact of psychylustro click here

Share your photos! Give us your best shots with #psychylustro on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Experience an audio interpretation by sound artist Jesse Kudler.

Selected Press

  • Bright Passages Along the Northeast Corridor, The New York Times
  • Art Among the Ruins, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Murals That Turn Train Rides Into Full-Blown Art Shows, Wired
  • Philadelphia's Rail Gateway Is Transformed By New Public Art Project, Forbes
  • Fighting Urban Blight With Art: Philadelphia combats blight along Amtrak's Northeast rail corridor with art installation by Katharina Grosse, The Wall Street Journal
  • Art at High Speeds,
  • Animating ghostly landscape along Philly rail corridor with lustrous color, Newsworks
  • Amtrak Lines Northeast Corridor with Katharina Grosse Artwork, artnet news
  • Art on track aims to brighten commute, neighborhood, Philadelphia Inquirer

Funding and Support

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

Presented in cooperation with Amtrak, psychylustro has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, National Endowment for the Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Fierce Advocacy Fund, PTS Foundation, AT&T, Philadelphia Zoo, Joe and Jane Goldblum, David and Helen Pudlin, halfGenius, The Beneficial Foundation with support for the exhibition publication from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Media: content partner WHYY’s, and Metro Newspaper


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.

artist website

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.