Mark Grotjahn Artist Lecture: 7:30pm 4/30/2016

The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice presents
The 2016 Wendy Sussman Memorial Painting Lecture

Mark Grotjahn

7:30 – 9 pm, Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
160 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public


The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice and the Wendy Sussman Memorial Painting Lecture Series are pleased to present an artist’s lecture by widely recognized painter and UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice alumnus Mark Grotjahn.

Mark Grotjahn, "Untitled", 2004. Coloured pencil on paper, 177 x 130 cm.

Mark Grotjahn, “Untitled”, 2004. Coloured pencil on paper, 177 x 130 cm.


Mark Grotjahn was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his M.F.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. While at first glance, Mark Grotjahn’s oeuvre appears to be bound to purely aesthetic in modernist discourse, references to nature and movement are plentiful. His butterfly motif, one of several recurring connections to the natural world along with flowers and water, has yielded extensive possibilities in both painting and drawing. His ongoing Butterfly series focuses on perspectival investigations, such as dual and multiple vanishing points, techniques used since the Renaissance to create the illusion of depth and volume on a two-dimensional surface. These iconic compositions of complex, skewed angles and radiant, tonal color allude to the multiple narratives coursing through the history of modernist painting, from the utopian vision of Russian Constructivism to the hallucinatory images of Op Art. The extreme elegance of Grotjahn’s works is often tempered by visible scuffs and markings that attest to the contingencies of process in his otherwise highly controlled compositions.

Grotjahn’s work has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo museum exhibitions include “Mark Grotjahn: Drawings,” The 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); “Mark Grotjahn: Circus, Circus,” Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2014); and “Mark Grotjahn: Sculpture,” Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2014). Grotjahn’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; de la Cruz Collection, Miami; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Modern, London.

Grotjahn currently live and works in Los Angeles.

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The Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting, in honor of figurative painter and inspirational professor Wendy Sussman who taught at Berkeley from 1989 until her untimely death in 2001, was made possible by a generous donor.

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