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Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Vertical Red and Black Face 41.59), 2011, Anton Kern Gallery, New York
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MAKING SPIRITS DANCE
by Jerry Saltz



Mark Grotjahn’s large new paintings abound with torrents of ropy impasto, laid down in thickets, cascading waves, and bundles that swell, braid around, or overlap one another. Noses and mouths appear in kaleidoscopic furrows. Eyes, too -- sometimes in clusters, other times alone. Often these eyes are gouged out, opaque, blank, like those of some simian being or blind oracle. There are echoes of Cubism here and Maurice de Vlaminck’s Fauvism, of mid-century abstraction, German and neo-Expressionism, rock painting, folk art and fabric design.

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