Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Captain America Drawing in Ten Parts 41.17), 2008–09 (part three), color pencil and oil on paper, in ten parts, part three: 85 5/8 × 47 5/8 inches (217.5 × 121 cm) © Mark Grotjahn. Photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio
Mark Grotjahn Bibliography (Selected) (114 Kb)
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.
Mark Grotjahn was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California. He studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and then received his B.F.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his M.F.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Grotjahn’s work has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo museum exhibitions include “Drawings,” The Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles (2005); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2007); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2010); Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2012); “Circus, Circus,” Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2014); and “Sculpture,” Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2014). Grotjahn’s work is in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; de la Cruz Collection, Miami; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Modern, London.
Grotjahn currently live and works in Los Angeles.