Gstaad "Backcountry"

  20.02.2023 Arts & Culture, Events, Sports & Leisure, Arts & Culture

Mark Grotjahn’s latest exhibition, Backcountry, which opened in Gstaad on 13 February showcases a new series of paintings that build upon those featured in his identically titled 2022 exhibition at Gagosian London. Grotjahn’s artistic practice involves interweaving different modes of abstraction through his paintings, sculptures, and works on paper as he explores colour, perspective, seriality, and the sublime.

Backcountry draws inspiration from Grotjahn’s experiences of rural landscapes and his ski touring and fly-fishing adventures in western Colorado. The works on display use a diverse range of techniques and motifs to convey the essence of fleeting yet powerful experiences, both in nature and in the studio. Through bold and expressive movements, the artist imbues the paintings with the feeling of his physical actions, creating emotionally charged works with layers and textures.

The exhibition features a range of compositions that allude to different experiences in the backcountry, with white paint suggesting a snowy mountain descent and darker tones hinting at nocturnal ventures. The paintings' scale establishes a direct, visceral relationship with the bodies of both the painter and the viewer, conveying a sense of awe and the overwhelming grandeur of the natural world.

Grotjahn’s approach to abstraction in the Backcountry paintings does not aim to represent the landscape objectively. Instead, the works confront viewers with a total immersion in the application of line, tone, and texture and their vivid results. By choosing a horizontal format, the artist further alludes to the broad visual perspective of a skier and a complete immersion in his formal process. The Backcountry exhibition promises to be an engaging showcase of Grotjahn’s ongoing commitment to abstraction and the exploration of the power of artistic expression.


MARK GROTJAHN – ”Backcountry

The exhibition lasts until April 1, 2023, @ Gagosian, Promenade 79, Gstaad

Mark Grotjahn was born in Pasadena, California, and raised in Northern California. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Collections include Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Pinault Collection, Venice; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Broad, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Solo exhibitions include Drawings, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2007); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2010); Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2012); Circus, Circus, Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2014); Mark Grotjahn Sculpture, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2014); and 50 Kitchens, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2018).

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