new-york

Jan Groth

Diane Brown Gallery

For the past thirty years Norwegian artist Jan Groth has been producing drawings and tapestries characterized by bold, sparse compositions. In the drawings, single black crayon lines score vast fields of white, while in the tapestries (executed with the assistance of Benedikte Groth) the scheme is inverted. Here Groth presents five recent tapestries from his “Sign” series, dominated by single hooks and V-shapes suggesting proud, oversized calligraphic signatures. It is the four smaller crayon drawings, however, that steal the show. In these modest efforts one senses Groth’s edgy, troubled hand moving across the white surface like someone tracing lines in the snow with a stick. The forms that Groth sketches resemble saplings or lonely shoots of grass bending in the wind, arched over like halves of misshapen valentine hearts.

Groth’s is not the sort of work that rewards art-historical exegesis.

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