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’80s AGAIN

John Pilson

I was always intrigued by the small platinum prints Jan Groover made between ’79 and ’90. Cindy Sherman’s photographs got you talking, but Groover’s shut you up. Her table- top compositions seemed somehow familiar, with their references to Morandi and Fox Talbot. Unlike other explorations of “uncanny domesticity,” her precise arrangements of knives, fruit, and bottles were not infused with drama, but drained to the point of meaninglessness. While Sherrie Levine’s appropriation of Edward Weston spurred hours of undergraduate debate, Groover took Weston’s metaphors and erased them. If Weston’s green peppers were voluptuous nudes, Groover’s made you forget you were looking at peppers at all.

As told to Larissa Harris

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