Jan GrothSigns and FiguresNovember 14, 2019 – January 26, 2020, Oslo
With the exhibition Signs and Figures, Jan Groth marks his 15th solo exhibition with Galleri Riis. Presenting 4 new wall drawings commissioned for the gallery’s spaces in Arbins gate, a series of new drawings on paper, 3 new bronze sculptures and 2 tapestries from the mid 1970’s.
The wall drawings, executed with black crayons in close cooperation with assistants, play out their vibrant lines against the surfaces of the architecture and open a compelling dialogue with the eccentric compositions of the large scale tapestries, which were executed in collaboration with the late Benedikte Groth. Likewise, the spacial drawing of the recent sculptures adhere to the figures and signs of the new small drawings, evocative of ancient writings, referring back to Groth’s early works in this format more than two decades ago.
Jan Groth is considered a leading artist of his generation in Scandinavia, with numerous exhibitions in museums and institutions throughout the world. Groth has, through his long artistic practice, exclusively and continuously explored the relationship between the line and the picture plane. First and foremost in drawings executed with crayon on paper, but also in monumental tapestries that was made in collaboration with his former partner, Benedikte Groth (1933-2015) in Copenhagen. Since the late 1980s he has brought the line into three-dimensional space with bronze sculptures spanning the intimate scale of the drawings, to the monumental in several public works. Groth literally weaves together the immediate with the gradual; the drawing on paper extracted in an instance is through a highly labour-intensive process transcribed into the structure of the tapestry or through the meticulous manipulation of wax in his models for the bronze sculptures. His artistic idiom can be described as restrained expressionism, with a profound sensibility wherein the line’s seemingly seismographic recordings appear to visualise nuances and energies registered from within.
Jan Groth (b. 1938) lives and works in Oslo. His latest institutional solo exhibitions include Linear Tapestries, Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2018 and The Festival Exhibition in Bergen Kunsthall in 2017. His works are represented in the collections of numerous museums around the world, among others: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, The Tate Gallery, London, England, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo. The latest publication on Jan Groth’s art is Karin Hellandsjø’s comprehensive book Jan Groth, Drawings 1967-2017, published by Teknisk Industri earlier this year.