Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Poppy Red and Yellowed Orange Butterfly 48.90), 2016, color pencil on paper, 76 × 42 inches (193 × 106.7 cm) © Mark Grotjahn

Mark Grotjahn: 50 Kitchens at BCAM at LACMA, Los Angeles, California.

On view May 20 through August 19, 2018.

Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968) has made “Butterfly” compositions since 2002, and the latest to come out of his studio is 50 Kitchens (2013–18), exhibited here for the first time. Conceived as one work, 50 Kitchens takes its inspiration from a single composition (in black and cream-colored pencil) that Grotjahn made to meet the dimensional specifications of a wall in his kitchen. The more than 50 subsequent chromatic drawings explore pairs of radiating colors (like Tuscan Red and Chartreuse, or Grass Green and Canary Yellow) and together create a prismatic display. The works allude to artists interested in color, light, and optics, such as Wassily Kandinsky and the Op art painters of the 1960s, and also incorporate residual traces of earlier drawings that have been seamlessly integrated into the new works.


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