MARK GROTJAHN


MARK GROTJAHN

Over the course of three decades, Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968) has produced a diverse oeuvre which pushes the boundaries of visual language. Encompassing painting, drawing and sculpture, his multimedia practice foregrounds the tensions and intersections between the abstract and figurative divide. The artist works in distinctive series with a meticulous, almost obsessive drive. Treading the line between geometry and gesture, Grotjahn has developed a unique pictorial lexicon that is at once idiosyncratic and continually evolving. Since his initial ‘Sign Exchange’ project (1993–1998), the artist has gone on to create his renowned series of ‘Butterfly’ paintings (2001–); ‘50 Kitchens’ (2013–2018); ‘Face’ (2003–); his sculptural body of ‘Masks’ (2000–); and more recently the ‘Capri’ (2016–) and 'Backcountry' (2021–) paintings, among others. Comprising angular motifs, a capricious sense of symmetry, reductive sculptural forms, a vibrant palette, and rich impasto paint in his dynamic opus of work, Grotjahn seeks to challenge and upturn the hermetic structures of artistic production.

‘At the centre of Grotjahn’s practice is a belief in formalism – the idea that paintings can be self-contained, and derive from continual experimentation in medium and form. He has spoken widely on his love for the non-objective – distinct from abstract art, which literally means to “take out”, or detract. Instead, Grotjahn relies on painting to build systems and structures which have no external reference point. This is made abundantly clear by his speaking on the subject: […] Grotjahn invokes and withdraws comparisons to real life objects, telling the viewers “I called some ‘butterflies’ but I don’t think they are butterflies; I call my sculptures ‘masks’ but they are not masks.”’

L. Earthy, ‘Mark Grotjahn’s Waking Formalism’, Emergent Magazine, September 2022

Image: Untitled (Backcountry 55.01), 2023, oil on cardboard mounted on linen, 188 x 238.8 cm.; 74 x 94 in., photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio. © Mark Grotjahn

Solo Exhibitions


Group Exhibitions


Selected Institutional Exhibitions


Biography


VITA

1968

Born in Pasadena, USA


1990

BFA, Department of Art Practice, University of Colorado


1995

MFA, Department of Art Practice, University of California, Berkeley


Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland

de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Des Moines Art Center

Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens

François Pinault Collection, Venice

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Rubell Family Collection, Miami

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Tate, London

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024

Kitchens
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin


2023

Skulls 2016–2023
Karma, New York 

Backcountry

Gagosian, Gtaad


2022

Backcountry
Gagosian, London


2021

Horizontals
Gagosian, Hong Kong


2018

New Capri, Capri, Free Capri
Gagosian, New York

50 Kitchens
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Backcountry
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2016

Sign Exchange 1993–98
Blum & Poe, New York

Sign Exchange 1993–98
Karma, New York

Casa Malaparte, Capri

Pink Cosco
Gagosian, London

Untitled (Captain America)
Gagosian, New York


2015

Painted Sculpture
Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Fifteen Paintings
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2014

Sculpture
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

Circus Circus
Kunstverein Freiburg

Butterfly Paintings
Blum & Poe, New York


2013

Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago


2012

Gagosian Gallery, New York

Aspen Art Museum, Aspen


2011

Nine Face

Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Three to Five Faces
Shane Campbell, Chicago


2010

Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo

Portland Art Museum, Portland

Seven Faces
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2009

Gagosian Gallery, London


2008

Dancing Black Butterflies
Gagosian Gallery, New York


2007

Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland

Blue Paintings Light to Dark One through Ten
Anton Kern Gallery, New York


2006

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York


2005

Drawings
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

New Paintings
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Stephen Friedman Gallery, London


2003

Anton Kern Gallery, New York


2002

El Gran Burrito
Boom/Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2000

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


1998

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Flowers in the Office
Brent Petersen Gallery, Los Angeles

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2024

Instinctive Gestures
Galerie Max Hetzler, London

​​​​​​​On Paper
Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris

A Dark Hymn: Highlights from the Hill Collection
Hill Art Foundation, New York


2023

Pictures Girls Make”: Portraitures
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

To Bend the Ear of the Outer World
Gagosian, London


2021

Stiltsville
Half Gallery, Biscayne Bay


2020

A Possible Horizon
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

New Images of Man
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2019

Continuing Abstraction
Gagosian, Basel

From Day to Day
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Highlights of the Permanent Collection and Masterworks on Loan
Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland


2018

Close at Hand: Modern and Contemporary Sculpture
Gagosian, San Francisco

Crossraods: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

More/Less
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Syphilis
Rental Gallery, East Hampton

The Art of Collaboration
Venus Over Manhattan, New York

Cliché
Almine Rech Gallery, New York

Four Rooms
Blum & Poe, New York


2017

L.A. Invitational
Gagosian, New York

UNPACKING: The Marciano Collection
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

Imaginary Ancestors
Almine Rech Gallery, New York

Force and Form
de la Cruz Collection, Miami


2016

Progressive Praxis
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer
Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama

Plane.Site
Gagosian Gallery, San Francisco

Masterworks on Loan
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene

The Campaign for Art: Drawings, Part II
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Implosion 20
Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Olympia
Karma at Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris

Summer School
FLAG Art Foundation, New York

Phoenix Rising: The Valley Collects
Phoenix Art Museum

A Material Legacy
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham

2015 Surrealism: The Conjured Life.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

First Show / Last Show
190 Bowery, New York

Natural Histories
Gagosian Gallery, Athens

The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and it’s Legacy
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

You’ve got to know the rules to break them
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

The Art of Our Time
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Speed Space
Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles

Chalet Dallas
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

SPACE BETWEEN
FLAG Art Foundation, New York

Artists for MOCA: Highlights
Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Geometries On and Off the Grid: Art from the 1950 to the Present
The Warehouse, Dallas

2014 Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Beneath the Surface
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

New Image Painting
Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

Cast From Life
Skarstedt, New York

Room by Room: Monographic Presentations From the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collection
The Warehouse, Dallas

Liquor Store
Paradise Garage, Los Angeles


2013

2013 Carnegie International Contemporary Galleries Reinstallation
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Prima Materia
Punta della Dogana, Venice

The Show is Over
Gagosian, London

Busted

High Line Art, New York

Looking at Process
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Selections from the Permanent Collection
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles

Pattern: Follow the Rules
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Lansing

DSM-V
The Future Moynihan Station, New York


2012

Ancestral Figures
Gagosian, Paris

Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present: Selections from the Collection
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

In Living Color
FLAG Art Foundation, New York

Selections from the de la Cruz Collection
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Now’s the Time: Recent Acquisitions
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Venice Beach Biennial
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles


2011

Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Malevich and the American Legacy
Gagosian Gallery, New York

California Dreamin: Myths and Legends of Los Angeles
Galerie Almine Rech, Paris

Selections from the Collection of Buck A. Mickel
Richard Gray Gallery, New York

Selections from the de la Cruz Collection
de la Cruz Collection, Miami

Absence/Presence: Contemporary Abstraction
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park

Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present: Selections from the Collection.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


2010

The Artist’s Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

John Armleder, Tauba Auerbach, Hernan Bas, Matthew Day Jackson, Bernard Frize, Mark Grotjahn, Sergej Jensen, Bharti Kher, Adam McEwen, Olivier Mosset, Takashi Murakami, R.H. Quaytman, Claude Rutault, Lee Ufan, Piotr Uklanski, Martin Wohr
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris

Benches and Binoculars
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg
Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson

Mark Grotjahn, Jonathan Lasker, Sol LeWitt, Allan McCollum, James Siena, James Welling
Bravin Lee Programs, New York

Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection
New Museum, New York

Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts
American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York


2009

Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection
Punta della Dogana, Venice

Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Minimal Means
Initial Access, Wolverhampton

Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Mark Grotjahn and Jonas Wood
T&S’nKreps, New York

Saints and Sinners
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham

Beyond Black, White, and Gray
L&M Arts, New York

Just Like This Train
PHIL, Los Angeles

15th Anniversary Inaugural Exhibition
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
The Chef's Theory

Five Thirty Thr33, Los Angeles


2008

Friends and Family
Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Always There I
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Eyes Wide Open
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Geo/Metric-Prints and Drawings from the Collection Exhibition
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kaikai Kiki Artists
Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo

for what you are about to receive
Red October, Gagosian Gallery, Moscow

Oranges and Sardines: Conversations on Abstract Painting
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Pretty Ugly
Maccarone, New York


2007

USA Today
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Hammer Contemporary Collection Part 1
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Painting as Fact – Fact as Fiction
de Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich

L.A Desire (Part 1)
Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Dusseldorf

Like Color in Pictures
The Aspen Art Museum

Zbigniew Rogalski: “Air”
Galerie Almine Rech, Paris

Warhol and ....
Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles

Fit to Print: Printed Media in Recent Collage
Gagosian Gallery, New York

The Complexity of the Simple
L&M Arts, New York

Past, Present, Future Perfect: Selections from the Ovitz Family Collection
H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City

Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative
Thomas Dane Gallery, London


2006

Dark Matter
White Cube, London

Delete/How to Make a Perfect Ghost
Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Figures in the Field: Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Gone Formalism
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Modern Primitivism
Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

Paintings in Tongues
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Last Time They Met
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

The Monty Hall Problem

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

RED EYE: L.A. Artists from the Rubell Family Collection
Rubell Family Collection, Miami


2005

Drawing from the Modern, 1975–2005
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Painted World
P.S.1, Long Island City

Tête à Tête
Greenberg Von Doren Gallery, New York

New Work/New Acquisitions
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Plip, Plip, Plipity
Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles

Think Blue
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


2004

2004–5 Carnegie International
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Now is a Good Time
Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Colored Pencil
KS Art, New York

I, Assassin
Wallspace, New York

The Thought That Counts
Sister, Los Angeles


2003

Inaugural exhibition
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Conversations
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Pink
Gallery Min Min, Tokyo


2002

The Stray Show
Boom, Chicago

Play it as it Lays
London Institute Gallery

L.A. On My Mind: Recent Acquisitions from MOCA’s Collection
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles


2001

Jennifer Bornstein, Mark Grotjahn, Dave Miller, Florian Maier-Aichen
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Sharing Sunsets
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tuscon

Out of Bounds: Working off Paper
Luckman Gallery, The Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles

Superman in Bed: Kunst der Gegenwart und Fotografie Sammlung
Schurmann, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund

David Brody, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Siobhan Liddell
Gorney Bravin + Lee, New York


2000

00: Drawings 2000
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

Works on Paper from Los Angeles
Studio Guenzani, Milan

Young and Dumb
Acme, Los Angeles


1999

After the Gold Rush
Thread Waxing Space, New York


1998

Winter Selections 1998
The Drawing Center, New York

Works on Paper
Derek Eller Gallery, New York

Phenomenology: Michael Byron and Mark Grotjahn
Elias Fine Art Gallery, Boston

Entropie zu Hause
Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen


1997

Brent Petersen, Mark Grotjahn, Paul Sietsema
Gallery 16, San Francisco

Helmut Federle, Gunter Umberg, Mark Grotjahn, Ingo Muller
Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco


1996

Backroads with Doug McConnell
Four Walls, San Francisco


1995

Access
Southern Exposure, San Francisco

Skowehegan Drive-in: collaboration with Dough Corson, Mark Grotjahn, and Mel Chin
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

Videos


Publications


Always There

Haluk Akakçe, André Butzer, Günther Förg, Mark Grotjahn, Arturo Herrera, Sarah Morris, Frank Nitsche, Albert Oehlen, Yves Oppenheim, Richard Phillips, Michael Raedecker, Anselm Reyle, Kay Rosen, Kelley Walker, Christopher Wool

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 2008
With a text by Gudrun Inboden

€ 40.00

Selected Press


Èmergent Magazine September 2022

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Unframed LACMA August 2018

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Unframed LACMA July 2018

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Garage Magazine July 2017

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Purple Magazine Fall/Winter 2017

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Vulture Magazine January 2016

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Culture Map June 2014

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Cool Hunting February 2012

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Artforum February 2012

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The New York Times September 2006

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