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This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Race Track Scribble, Jackson Mask M41.d) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2015. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 70.5 inches by 33.5 inches by 32 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Walk Through Evening Effect, Mask M39.e) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2015. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 47.5 inches by 31.25 inches by 30.5 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Blue Van Gogh Cypress, Mask M38.c) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2015. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 53.75 inches by 33 inches by 37.5 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Expressed Dated Exposed, Cosco Mask M40.b) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2015. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 59.5 inches by 33.25 inches by 26.5 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (The Skies Remembered II, French Mask M31.e) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2014. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 47.875 inches by 31 inches by 39 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Orange over Mountain Walk, Italian Mask M30.g) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2014. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 51.75 inches by 34 inches by 44 inches. This is a sculpture titled Untitled (Lost Blue over Mountain Walk, Italian Mask M30.f) by artist Mark Grotjahn made in 2014. The materials are oil paint on bronze, and the dimensions are 51.75 inches by 34 inches by 44 inches.

Press Release

Mark Grotjahn

Painted Sculpture

September 10 –
October 29, 2015

August 11, 2015 — In his fourth solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, painter and sculptor Mark Grotjahn presents a new body of painted bronzes. This is the first gallery exhibition to further elaborate upon the artist’s 2014 sculpture presentation at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

 

In a radical act of transformation, Grotjahn takes the most casual throwaway material, the cardboard box, and turns it into the most solid and noble of art mediums: the pedestal-mounted bronze sculpture. With their rough cutouts for eyes and mouths, glued-on cardboard tubes and toilet paper rolls for pipe-like noses, and ripped cardboard surfaces for texture and definition, these assemblages resemble primitive, child-like masks. Cast in bronze, Grotjahn paints them in decisive hues of green, purple, and red, inflected with smaller doses of other colors that are applied in gestural, expressionistic trails of paint and chromatic networks. Elevated on pinewood pedestals, the masks function simultaneously as paintings and as three-dimensional objects.

 

The mask or the grotesque face, a central although not always visible motif in Grotjahn’s painting and drawing practice from the beginning, has broken out of the flat surface into a three-dimensional form, and thereby freed the artist from the need to adhere to any face-like verisimilitude in the painting process. Grotjahn’s painted sculptures have become true hybrids—not mere combinations of two techniques, but rather unprecedented crossbreeds. They add an unparalleled step to the genealogy of modern art and of painted sculpture in particular, entering a dialogue with modernist concepts of the found object, the assemblage and welded sculpture (Pablo Picasso, Julio González) as well as non-Western-art-inspired objects and masks (Henri Matisse, André Derain, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner). Grotjahn is creating paintings without pictorial reference that are yet deeply rooted in the ancestry of the mask as an object of ritual, reflection and analysis of the unconscious.

 

An accompanying exhibition catalogue, published by Distanz, will be available in 2017.

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