Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)
Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)

Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green)

Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)
Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green)
oil on linen
70 x 35 in. (177.8 x 88.9 cm.)
Painted in 2004.
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner
London, Royal Academy of Arts, USA TODAY New American Art from The Saatchi Gallery, October-November 2006, pp. 154-155 (illustrated in color).
St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum, USA TODAY New American Art from The Saatchi Gallery, October 2007-January 2008, pp. 52-53 (illustrated in color).
London, The Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America: New Painting & Sculpture, May 2007-January 2010, pp. 64-65 (illustrated in color).
Sale room notice
Please note the work is upside down in the lot illustration.

Lot Essay

Painted in 2004, Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green) conciliates the clash between the organic and the artificial in amazing, singular candescence. Untitled breathes in an almost sentient flare.
The way Mark Grotjahn currently paints grew out of conceptual sign making; he would faithfully reproduce peculiar graphics and phrases from local storefronts in his native Los Angeles. He would then trade these handmade copies to the storeowners in exchange for the original signage.
Citing this practice, many critics hasten to view Grotjahn's current work as subversive, even detached in its minimalism - and the Los Angeles-based artist is no stranger to conceptual hijinx. However, we can see warmth and intimacy in Untitled. Grotjahn often uses hard-edged lines and clamoring angles in his paintings, particularly in his Butterfly series. However, he composed Untitled with delicate subtlety and a coalescing color field, while retaining a sense of geometric definition. Untitled moves, shimmering, organic, and even compassionate: Grotjahn here discards harsh angularity in favor of delicately implied perspective.

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