November 15, 2003
Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn in New York.
Grotjahn will present a series of bold geometric paintings in which the palette is monochromatic, the oil paint is thick and the brush stroke is truly present. The careful layers are obsessively added in alternating “butterfly wing” rays and stripes to dizzying illusion.
Striated rectangular bars of color traverse the center of the canvas to create optical divisions. Using one-point linear perspective, Grotjahn tangles the narrow line between abstraction and representation by juxtaposing the collision of two vanishing points on a vertical horizon.
Though the work follows the rituals and process of formalism, one can clearly glean personal west coast references in his work. Highways, bridges, tunnels, sunsets, and the beaches of Los Angeles transform the paintings into confessional pieces in which private moments are enveloped by abstraction. Mark Grotjahn has had exhibitions at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund in Germany and Studio Guenzani in Milano, among others. Both Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles have his work in their permanent collections.