Jan Groover “Laboratory Of Forms”

Janet Borden

poster for Jan Groover “Laboratory Of Forms”

This event has ended.

Janet Borden, Inc. presents a new exhibition—JAN GROOVER: LABORATORY OF FORMS.
The exhibition is a nod to Groover’s retrospective exhibition, organized by the Musée d’Elysée, which has now resumed its European tour. That show will be in Paris at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.

This exhibition focuses on Groover’s magnificent large-scale still lifes from 1988-89, prior to her relocating in France. Groover is unequaled in her mastery of the still life genre in photography, and these exceptional compositions confirm her status. Some were shown last season in an abbreviated exhibition that was not widely viewed.

Bottles, utensils, and fruit are the vocabulary Groover uses for these formalist studies of color and space.They do not look like any still lifes made before or after them. She was and remains a unique artist.

Each photograph, though a hallucinatory mélange of color and forms, is a single straight photograph. No tricks, no Photoshop. The insane backgrounds are merely paper set up to delineate the space. Using a large format camera, producing either a 5x7” or 8x10” negative, Groover manipulated the planes by using swings and tilts of the camera. The colors are either paint or reflection or just light on objects. Th spaces are surreal, yet totally prosaic.
John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, considered Groover the worthy successor of Edward Weston. In his forward to Jan Groover: Photographs, he wrote:
“The photographs that are then made of these constructions are not only pictures of remarkable beauty, but perhaps also tests that might help determine how far photography might move towards an art of synthesis without losing its analytic powers.”

These 30x40” prints are vintage, made when she made the negatives, 1989-1991. The tones remain exquisite. They represent the backbone of Groover’s formalist approach to photography, where the mundane turns magical.Curious items abound, but the photographs are not about the curious elements; they are about the light, the planes, the intersection of the forms. It’s not about the bottles. It’s everything else.

Jan Groover (1943 – 2011) was a major figure in contemporary photography. Her work is included in virtually all major museum collections and was exhibited worldwide. Monographs on Groover have been published by the Neuberger Museum; The Museum of Modern Art; New York Graphic Society; Lausanne Museum; and others, which are widely available. She has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and many more. Her archives are stored at the Musée d’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, where they were exhibited in September 2019 in a major retrospective, whose international tour was delayed by the pandemic. It has resumed its schedule and will be shown in Paris this fall. The accompanying retrospective book, Jan Groover, Photographer: Laboratory of Forms is available through the gallery or Amazon.



from September 07, 2022 to October 15, 2022


Jan Groover

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use