new-york

Jan Groover

Robert Miller Gallery

At a time when many photographers are primarily concerned with subject matter, Jan Groover’s insistence upon the centrality of the formal, visual aspect of the medium is salutary. As she remarked in a handout accompanying this show, “It is the forms and the attitudes and the space of things which make meaning for me.” Nevertheless, in the work presented here, Groover edges increasingly toward the theatrical, presenting tense arrangements of objects that are associatively as well as formally evocative within a shallow, stagelike space. The backgrounds are painted in muted pastels and carefully lit in order to heighten the sense of drama, of incipient action. We wait for the actors to come on stage; or perhaps the objects themselves will start to act and to speak.

The implicit narratives in these pictures do not necessarily contradict Groover’s formalist stance. Groover’s work has always

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.