Mark Grotjahn: 50 Kitchens

Mark Grotjahn, LACMA
Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Poppy Red and Yellowed Orange Butterfly 48.90), 2016, courtesy of the artist, © Mark Grotjahn, photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Mark Grotjahn: 50 Kitchens, a single artwork by the Los Angeles-based artist, created over five years and exhibited for the first time at LACMA. 50 Kitchens(2013–18) is the latest of the artist’s “Butterfly compositions” and takes its inspiration from a single composition (in black and cream-colored pencil) that Grotjahn made to meet the dimensional specifications of a wall in his kitchen. The more than 50 subsequent chromatic drawings explore pairs of radiating colors (like Tuscan Red and Chartreuse, or Grass Green and Canary Yellow) and together create a prismatic display.

The work alludes to artists interested in color, light, and optics, such as Wassily Kandinsky and the Op art painters of the 1960s, and also incorporates residual traces of earlier drawings that have been seamlessly integrated into the final rendering.

To create an ideal viewing space for the more than 350 feet of walls upon which the series of drawings are shown, the artist and curators are relying on the ample, subtly shifting natural light provided by the huge glass ceiling of the third floor of the Renzo Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum.

“Mark’s 50 Kitchens is an exuberant display of color and form constructed in a systematic, long-term effort that creates an immersive environment,” said LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan. “The whole project is epic in scale and equally intimate in its experience. One is drawn to the energy of a chance, tiny, single colored-pencil mark within the whole field of variable colors created by the series of more than 50 drawings throughout the large open gallery.”

About the Artist

Mark Grotjahn was born in 1968 in Pasadena, CA. He received an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Grotjahn’s work is included in museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Broad Art Museum, Los Angeles; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; François Pinault Collection, Venice; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; De La Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, Miami; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


50 Kitchens

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

May 20 – August 19, 2018


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