Opening reception: Saturday, March 16, 6-8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn. While Grotjahn's last exhibition at the gallery included figurative work as well as multi-colored perspectival paintings that were geared more to evocations of landscape and the horizon, Grotjahn's new work essentially rotates the horizon into a vertical format with diagonally situated, triangular swathes emanating from center strips of color. Outer bands bind the directionals to the edges of the painting. The reorientation from horizontal to vertical deflects the more direct landscape references found in the earlier paintings and drawings. The palette of this body of work is monochromatic: whites, blacks, or browns. The oil paint is thick, applied with a brush and straight lines are created by hand.
Grotjahn's continued use of formalist painting structures leaves the work very open. The discarding of a multi-hued palette also allows for a more interpretive reading as the works reference everything from cross-hatching, mandala forms, natural forms, paint application, and surface. There is something romantic about these new paintings, perhaps lent by the glowing surface and verticality of the center bands. Grotjahn has also created a series of small studies related to the paintings.
Mark Grotjahn lives and works in Los Angeles. His work is included in numerous private collections as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has recently exhibited work in Los Angeles, London, and New York.