Galerie Greta Meert is pleased to present an exhibition of sculptures and photographs by Robert Grosvenor. This is the artist’s first presentation at the gallery since his 1992 exhibition Sculpture and Drawings.
The work of Robert Grosvenor proceeds from the act of looking. His approach to arranging common materials, fabricating structures and altering objects is an extension of the pleasure he finds in observing the world with care and consideration. Purposeful and pared down, his handling of the stuff that makes up our material existence and his ability to devise specific spatial relations lend his work a distinctly familiar yet bewildering quality. The artist’s attraction to the aerodynamic forms of cars and boats, or as he calls them himself, ‘shapes that can go fast,’ characterises his interest in the vernacular of sculpture. In maintaining an ambiguous relationship to the handmade inventions of Sunday engineers and working class bricoleurs, his work defies discourse and its categories.
On many occasions, Grosvenor’s sculptures have been compared to shelters, vessels, stages, and containers, yet they have repeatedly proven to elude the illustrative confines of those analogies. While there is no doubt as to how his sculptures exist in space, their presence conjures more than meets the eye – they simultaneously deflect the literalist precepts of minimalism and circumvent illustrative or illusionistic endeavours. As in the photograph of two green doughnuts that the artist whimsically put in the green water of the Florida Keys, the precise but often liminal nature of his gestures give objects a life of their own.
In a new series of small scale photographs, the artist uses flocking pigments tossed into snow. The tenuous relationship between the pictures, and the provisional happening devised for the camera keeps the status of these photographs on edge. Not unlike his sculptures, these pictures function as self-contained landscapes. Presented alongside a coloured steel sphere and a modified auto body, this series of photographs departs from the artist’s earlier photographs. On view on the first floor of the gallery, these photographs tend to bear a more direct relationship to his sculptural work.
Robert Grosvenor naturally drifts from one area of interest to another. In doing so, the complex parallels between his sculptural work and his photographs continue to unfold in unexpected ways. Each one of his sculptures constitute a new start. In a quasi photographic way, Grosvenor makes his work in order to see what it looks like in the world – without any preconceptions.
Robert Grosvenor was born in 1937 in New York City, and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon (France) , the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (France) and the Universitá di Perugia in Italy. His work was included in the seminal group exhibitions Primary Structures (Jewish Museum, New York, NY, 1966) and Minimal Art (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 1968). One-person exhibitions of Grosvenor’s work have been presented at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1992), the Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2005), the Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL (2017), and the ICA Miami (2019). His work is currently on view at La Biennale di Venezia in The Milk of Dreams, the 59th International Art Exhibition curated by Cecilia Alemani.