New York

Mark Grotjahn

Whitney Museum of American Art

Rendered in colored pencil, Mark Grotjahn’s large drawings approximate human scale—meeting the viewer eye-to-eye, as it were—and feature skewed versions of the perspectival triangle. As in traditional perspective, the shapes’ orthogonals meet at a vanishing point, but in Grotjahn’s work they don’t converge neatly; they’re irrationally “off.” In each image, two triangles have vanishing points that meet their vertical horizons at different places. They look like they’re trying to connect across the divide—which is sometimes large, sometimes narrow—but they don’t, and the effect is one of frustrating irreconcilability. Less noticeable at first glance, the divisions between the angles are not as mathematically regular as they should be. Tilt your head to look at the triangles from the side, and you realize that they aren’t uniformly spaced.

Grotjahn’s triangles are, then, curious things—all

to keep reading

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

Not registered for Register here.

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

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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