Gagosian is pleased to present “Horizontals,” an exhibition of new and recent paintings by American painter Mark Grotjahn from his “Capri” series (2016–).
In his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Grotjahn interweaves various modes of abstraction, employing an expansive vocabulary of motifs and techniques that evolves between series, while infusing existing paradigms with new energy. Exploring colour, perspective, seriality, and the sublime, he has drawn inspiration from a diverse history of non-representational painting, from prehistoric to Op art. By incorporating complex and ever-changing modes of expression into an instantly recognizable aesthetic, he continues to develop an authorial gesture that is at once mercurial and entirely his own.
Stemming from a body of work that he produced in 2016 for Casa Malaparte on the isle of Capri, Italy, the new paintings extend Grotjahn’s shift away from the representational qualities of the “Face” paintings (2003–) toward the realm of full abstraction. Inspired by the landmark modernist house of writer Curzio Malaparte (1898–1957)—isolated on a rocky outcrop on the uninhabited side of the island and immortalized in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Le Mépris” (Contempt, 1963)—Grotjahn inaugurated the series with a group of works titled “New Capri.” Painted on cardboard and presented behind glass, these dynamic compositions echo the rugged natural environment of the house’s setting.
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