Mark Grotjahn: Sign-up

Studio Visits for Wednesday, December 8th






Mark Grotjahn

Sign-ups will be posted on Monday December 6th at 11:00am.
Studio Visits for Wednesday December 8th:

2:35 - 3:05
3:10 - 3:40


4:10 - 4:40

4:45 - 5:15

Lecture is at 7pm at Warner.

While at first glance, Mark Grotjahn's oeuvre appears to be bound to purely aesthetic in modernist discourse, references to nature and movement are plentiful. His butterfly motif, one of several recurring connections to the natural world along with flowers and water, has yielded extensive possibilities in both painting and drawing. His ongoing Butterfly series focuses on perspectival investigations, such as dual and multiple vanishing points, techniques used since the Renaissance to create the illusion of depth and volume on a two-dimensional surface. These iconic compositions of complex, skewed angles and radiant, tonal color allude to the multiple narratives coursing through the history of modernist painting, from the utopian vision of Russian Constructivism to the hallucinatory images of Op Art. The extreme elegance of Grotjahn's works is often tempered by visible scuffs and markings that attest to the contingencies of process in his otherwise highly controlled compositions.
Centering each work is a single stroke of color from which rays (or wings) emanate. The paintings are essentially monochromatic, but the luster of the painted surface vibrates and oscillates, offering comparison with Barnett Newman's "zip" paintings. Resembling abstract butterfly wings, the works also call to mind "the butterfly effect", introduced by a mathematician and meterologist in the 1960s, which maintains that the slightest movement of a butterfly's wings could eventually cause a tornado to appear – a ready amalogy, perhaps, to Grotjahn's quietly provocative experiments within the history of abstract art. Mark Grotjahn was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California. He received his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Recent solo exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); and Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2007). His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. He lives and works in Los Angeles.