Françoise Grossen (b.1943, Neuchatel, Switzerland) is a Swiss-American artist who has harnessed fiber as a sculptural medium over a forty-year career in her studio in New York and in Southern Spain. Emerging in the late 1960s alongside contemporaries such as Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, and Lenore Tawney, Grossen sought to relinquish the traditional tools and methods of textile and fiber art. She utilized a large-scale, free-hand braiding and knotting technique, allowing for greater freedom and spontaneity in her process. Having studied architecture and textile design at Kunstgewerbeschule Basel and at University of California, Los Angeles with Bernard Kester in the 1960s, Grossen became keenly aware of her ability to bring fiber sculpture into unexpected and experimental realms: hanging from the ceiling, draped on the ground or over pedestals, floating in bodies of water. Her work often appears simultaneously weightless and weighted, both masculine and feminine, all the while reinforcing their objecthood. As curator and writer Jenelle Porter explains it: "Grossen pushes beyond this initial rupture with the rectangle and the wall to explore the weight of the material and its response to gravity, an investigation that aligns her art with broader artistic debates taking place in New York and elsewhere."
Françoise Grossen now resides in Neuchatel, Switzerland. In 2016, a survey of her work was presented at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY. Her work has been featured in recent group exhibitions including: First Light: A Decade of Collecting at the ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2016); Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculptures by Women, 1947-2016, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Tapisseries Nomades, Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland (2016); The Textile Room, Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2014-2015) which traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH and Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA. Grossen participated several times in the Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne, Switzerland, and her work has been exhibited in many large-scale commission installations such as the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, CA (1971). Grossen’s sculptures are represented in international public and private institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Neuchatel, Switzerland; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, among many others. Grossen’s work has been recognized formally with the following awards: American Craft Council Award (2016); Women in Design, International Honor Award (1981); National Endowment for the Arts (1977); and the UCLA Art Council Award (1967-1970).