Mark Grotjahn | the artist
The artist Mark Grotjahn
Born 1968, Pasadena, California, USA.
Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, .
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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, saatchi gallery
Drawing influence from both modernist abstraction and pop culture, Mark Grotjahns paintings are intimate seductions, slipping between hard-edged design and emotive expression. Working from a central perspective point, Grotjahns Untitled radiates bands of golden hues, each creating a deception of space. Applied in thick impasto, their sleek forms dissolve into terrains of concentrated brushwork giving an effect of physical solidity. Built up in a series of opaque layers, the canvass texture and traces of under-painting create subtly shifting tones, flirting between the illusive and the concrete.