Mark Grotjahn was born in 1968 in Pasadena, California. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. From when he was a child he was interested in creating abstract forms - triangles and spirals - through the use of drawing tools. During his studies at Colorado University during the 1980s, his artistic production based on formal concerns, was in conflict with the art principles of the time, essentially based on social and political activism. Departing from a deep interest in abstraction, Grotjahn progressed, almost in a reverse journey, towards a systematic representation of the natural world and universe. In his works, he is interested in constructing three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional surface, and often uses two or more vanishing points in order to create abstract images and optical effects. Depending on the distance between the viewers and the work, they can make out forms from the natural world, such as trees, leaves or insects, or can equally lose their sense of orientation in Grotjahn’s intricate labyrinth of colours and lines.
Exhibitions dedicated to his work include those at Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado (2012) and Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2010). His work has been included in group exhibitions at: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008) and Whitney Biennial (2006). Some of Grotjahn’s paintings were shown at Punta della Dogana in the exhibitions “Prima Materia” (2013-15) and “Mapping the Studio” (2009-11).