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Mark Grotjahn
Blum & Poe Gallery, Culver City, California
Recommendation by Jody Zellen

Mark Grotjahn, "Untitled (Indian #5 Face 45.50)," 2014, oil on cardboard mounted on linen, 50 3/8 x 40 1/4"

Continuing through June 20, 2015

A selection of fifteen new "face" paintings by Mark Grotjahn are expressive abstractions made by dragging a palette knife across dense layers of oil paint. These new works are denser than previous paintings in which colored striations emanated from a central point. In these works the markings seem to emanate from a central core rather than a point. Emerging from the dark background are striations of brighter colors — hues of of red, yellow, orange and green. The shapes that are buried in these layers of paint are suggestive of facial anatomy.

Although the paintings read as faces they also resemble abstracted plants whose leaves intersect a vertical shaft that bisects the paintings. The works leave little uncovered and no room for the eye to rest. They are are energetic and aggressive, reinforcing the fact that Grotjahn's work is more about process and texture than what can be inferred from what is represented.

Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2015 

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