•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
Saatchi Art
Saatchi Store
Current Exhibition

Mark Grotjahn EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Untitled (Green Butterfly)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Green Butterfly)

2002

oil on canvas

122 x 86.3 cm
Drawing influence from both modernist abstraction and pop culture, Mark Grotjahn’s paintings are intimate seductions, slipping between hard-edged design and emotive expression. Using perspective as a skewed logic, Grotjahn’s canvases often incorporate two vanishing points in close proximity; from a doubled ‘centre’ Untitled (Green Butterfly) 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. With each triangle drafted in a single opaque layer, the canvas’s texture and traces of under-painting create subtly shifting tones, flirting between the illusive and the concrete.
Untitled (large coloured butterfly white background 10 wings)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (large coloured butterfly white background 10 wings)

2004

Coloured pencil on paper

177 x 130 cm
Untitled (Coloured Butterfly White Background Four Wings)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Coloured Butterfly White Background Four Wings)

2004

Coloured pencil on paper

Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled exploits the precarious balance between analytical hard-edged abstraction and intuitive mark-making. Rendered in coloured pencil, Grotjahn develops a planar composition of receding bands suspended between sharp angled lines. Giving quirky reference to the flat matte colours of modernist palette, Grotjahn’s perfectly drafted perspective and transluscent Prismacolor shading defy the solidity of the picture plane. Set competitively against the visible smudges and scribbles of drawing process, Grotjahn integrates design precision with visceral spontaneity.
Untitled (large coloured butterfly white background 10 wings)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (large coloured butterfly white background 10 wings)

2004

coloured pencil on paper

176.8 x 130 cm
Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled evokes a sense of the metaphysical. Set atop an effused abstracted ground, his forms stretch and recede in the convoluted logic of linear perspective. Executed in coloured pencil, the optical illusion of adjoining rainbow-toned lines becomes compounded as a feat of concentration. Each band painstakingly filled by the artist’s hand, Grotjahn’s geometric form is delineated by the embossed traces of his endeavour, imprinting his personal gestures within an emblem of perfection.
Untitled (White Butterfly Blue MG)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (White Butterfly Blue MG)

2001

oil on linen

182.9 x 66 cm
Echoing Barnett Newman’s monumental stripes, Mark Grotjahn’s paintings reconstruct the architecture of abstraction on human scale. Set on narrow and elongated canvases, Grotjahn’s Butterfly series renders the sublime as an intimate and attainable pursuit based in concentrated process and palpable surface. In Untitled, tarnished tones radiate in off-kilter perspective, their concrete forms alleviated by the subtle variation of bevelled brush strokes, creating an aura of weightlessness and luminosity. Flanked in the bottom corners by the artist’s stylised initials, Grotjahn frames his painting as vanity and cherished endeavour.
Untitled (White Butterfly)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (White Butterfly)

2002

oil on linen

182.9 x 61 cm
In Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (White Butterfly) bands of milky pigment expand from the centre as rays of blinding light, drawing connotations of speed, virtual space, and religiosity in their sumptuous satiny finish. Within the intense concentration of Grotjahn’s monochrome, subtle diversity of hue, texture, and tone emerge as an infinite expansion. Recalling a wide range of artistic reference - from Malevich’s white on white compositions, Newman’s mystical
colour fields, to El Greco’s elongated Ascension - Grotjahn fuses past and present with a timeless spirituality.
Untitled (Orange Butterfly Green MG 03)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Orange Butterfly Green MG 03)

2003

oil on linen

132.1 x 71.1 cm
Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Orange Butterfly Green MG 03) evokes a sense of the metaphysical. Set atop an effused abstracted ground, his forms stretch and recede in the convoluted logic of linear perspective. Excecuted in coloured pencil, the optical illusion of adjoining rainbow-toned lines becomes compounded as a feat of concentration. Each band painstakingly filled by the artist’s hand, Grotjahn’s geometric form is delineated by the embossed traces of his endeavour, imprinting his personal gestures within an emblem of perfection.
Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly)

2006

Crayon and mixed media on board

122 x 89 cm
Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly) combines the hard-edge of op art with the transcendental delicacy of abstract expressionism. Using crayon for its heavy waxy texture, Grotjahn’s black propeller forms cut through the mottled white ground as oscillating voids. Dividing the canvas down the centre with a razor like line, Grotjahn slices the vanishing point so that the bands on the left converge slightly lower than those on the right. Through this asymmetrical composition and ‘unstable’ medium Grotjahn creates a visually powerful emblem that’s both domineering and irresolute.
Untitled (pink butterfly)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (pink butterfly)

2002

Oil on Linen

122 x 73.6 cm
Painted in superficial roseate hues, Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Pink Butterfly) pits the frivolity of pop against the high-brow orthodoxy of formal painting. Executed with a connoisseur’s obsession, Untitled is spellbinding in its rich surface, tonal balance, and flawless concentrated brushwork. Flaunting a mastery of technique at odds with the low-culture connotations of kitsch plastic colour and bold egoist tagging, Grotjahn humorously approaches abstract painting with tongue in cheek, transforming artistic faux pas into an image of intense beauty.
Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05)

2005

Oil on Linen

147 x 122cm
Mark Grotjahn infuses the detached genre of minimalist painting with a sympathetic playfulness. Bringing to mind Frank Stella’s black paintings, Grotjahn’s Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05) subverts the stark precision of modernism with impulsive centrifugal composition and skewed geometry. The attraction of Grotjahn’s painting lies in its subtle imperfections: brush marks expand with estimated gesture, and hand drawn angles and lines suggest an amenable humility. Painted in bold 80s power colours and hallmarked with tie-dye MG logo, Grotjahn’s Untitled celebrates instinct over analytical purity.
Untitled  (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green)

2004

Oil on Linen

178 x 89 cm
Using natural phenomenon as a starting point for abstraction, Mark Grotjahn’s paintings straddle the polarities of artifice and nature. In Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green), his
efferent composition conveys a sensation of sublime weightless energy through simplified form. Similarly, his process and title reference the romantic vision of blooming jacaranda flowers:
revealing only a hint of green under-painting, his canvas explodes in a torrent of purple hue. Transferring the experience of observation to an intrigue of creative possibility, Grotjahn harnesses the mysticism of nature through aesthetic formality.
Untitled (Face)
Mark Grotjahn
Untitled (Face)

2007

Oil on cardboard on linen on canvas

152.4 x 129.5cm
Expanding from the highly polished Butterfly paintings for which he is renowned, Grotjahn’s Untitled (Face) gets back to painting’s basics, extolling an immediacy which is radically different from his signature style. Executed on a sheet of torn cardboard mounted to a canvas, Grotjahn retains his radiant band motif complicating it with repetitively drawn, vicious-looking eyes, noses, and mouths. His thick, hurried brush marks sketch out the form with a primal celerity, re-conceiving his op-art mandala as something ritualistic and totemic.

Mark Grotjahn's BIOGRAPHY

Mark Grotjahn
Born in 1968, Pasadena, California
Lives and works in Los Angeles



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2011
Nine Faces, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Three to Five Faces, Shane Campbell, Chicago, IL

2010
Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Seven Faces, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

2009
Gagosian Gallery, London, UK

2008
Dancing Black Butterflies, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY

2007
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland
Blue Paintings Light to Dark One through Ten, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY

2006
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2005
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK
Mark Grotjahn: Drawings, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2003
Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY

2002
Mark Grotjahn: el gran burrito, Boom, Chicago, IL
Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CA

2000
Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CA

1998
Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CA
Flowers in the Office, Brent Petersen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2011
Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los
Angeles, CA
Malevich and the American Legacy, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
California Dreamin: Myths and Legends of Los Angeles, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France
(curated by Hedi Slimane)

2010
The Artist’s Museum: Los Angeles Artists 1980 – 2010, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los
Angeles, CA
Group Show 2010, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France Benches and Binoculars, Walker Art
Center, Minneapolis, MN
At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Hessel
Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (curated by Matthew Higgs)
Mark Grotjahn, Jonathan Lasker, Sol LeWitt, Allan McCollum, James Siena, James Welling, Bravin
Lee Programs, New York, NY
Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, New Museum, New York, NY (curated by
Jeff Koons)
Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

2009
Saints and Sinners, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany
Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings
Collection, MoMA, New York, NY
Private Universes, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy
Minimal Means, Initial Access, Wolverhampton, UK
Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
Mark Grotjahn and Jonas Wood: Collaborative Works, T&Sn’Kreps, New York, NY
Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Beyond Black, White, and Gray, L&M Arts, New York, NY
Just Like This Train, PHIL, Los Angeles, CA
Inaugural Group Exhibition, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
The Chef's Theory, Five Thirty Thr33, Los Angeles, CA

2008
Friends and Family, Anton Kern Gallery, New York
Always There: a Group Show with Grey Paintings - Part 1, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
Eyes Wide Open, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Kaikai Kiki Artists, Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Japan
Pretty Ugly, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Maccarone, New York, NY
For What You Are About to Receive, Gagosian Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Oranges and Sardines, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Geo/Metric-Prints and Drawings from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

2007
USA Today, Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK
Like Color in Pictures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
L.A. Desire, Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf, Germany
Painting as Fact – Fact as Fiction, de Pury & Luxembourg, Zürich, Switzerland
Zbigniew Rogalski, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France
The Complexity of the Simple, L & M, New York, NY
Fit to Print, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
Past, Present, Future Perfect: Selections from the Ovitz Family Collection, H&R Block Artspace,
Kansas City, Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
Warhol and . . . , Kantor / Feuer, Los Angeles, CA

2006
Painting in Tongues, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (curated by Michael Darling)
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Delete/How to Make a Perfect Ghost, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
Gone Formalism, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
Figures in the Field: Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections, Museum
of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
The Last Time They Met, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK
The Monty Hall Problem, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
Dark Matter, White Cube, London, UK
Modern Primitivism, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
Red Eye, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL
New Work/New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (organized by Ann Temkin)

2005
The Painted World, P.S.1, Long Island City, NY
The Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, Contemporary Art Center, Seattle, WA
Think Blue, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
Think Blue, Blue Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio, TX
Tête à Tête, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY (curated by Augusto Arbizo)
Plip, Plip, Plipty!, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Drawing from the Modern, 1975-2005, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Think Blue, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

2004
Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Now is a Good Time, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (curated by Dean Valentine)
I, Assassin, Wallspace, New York, NY (curated by Slater Bradley)
Colored Pencil, KS Art, New York, NY (curated by Geoffrey Young)
The Thought That Counts, Sister, Los Angeles, CA (curated by Jason Meadows)
54th Carnegie International 2004-05, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

2003
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
Conversations, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Pink, Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, Japan

2002
The Stray Show, Boom, Chicago, IL
Play it as it Lays, London Institute, London, UK (curated by Paul McDevitt and Declan Clark)
L.A. On My Mind: Recent Acquisitions from MOCA's Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los
Angeles, CA

2001
Jennifer Bornstein, Mark Grotjahn, Dave Muller, Florian Maier-Aichen, Blum & Poe, Santa Monica,CA
Sharing Sunsets, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ (curated by Julie Deamer)
Out of Bounds: Working off Paper, Harriet & Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State
University, Los Angeles, CA
Superman in Bed: Kunst der Gegenwart und Fotografie Sammlung Schürmann, Museum am
Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany
David Brody, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Siobhan Liddell, Gorney Bravin + Lee, New York, NY

2000
H20, Works on Paper, Los Angeles, CA
'00, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
Drawings From Los Angeles, Studio Guenzani, Milan, Italy
Young and Dumb, Acme, Los Angeles, CA (curated by Pentti Monkkonen)

1999
After the Gold Rush, Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY (curated by Lia Gangitano and Joseph Wolin)

1998
Entropy at Home, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany
Winter Selections 1998, Drawing Center, New York, NY
Works on Paper, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY
Elias Fine Art Gallery, Boston, MA

1997
Brent Petersen, Mark Grotjahn, Paul Sietsema, Gallery 16, San Francisco, CA
Helmut Federle, Günter Umberg, Mark Grotjahn, Ingo Müller, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

1996
Backroads (with Doug McConnell), Four Walls, San Francisco, CA

1995
Access, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA
Skowhegan Drive-in, collaboration with Doug Corson, Mark Grotjahn, and Mel Chin, Skowhegan
School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME