Robert Grosvenor

Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959 - 1971 (group show)
Resnick Pavilion, LACMA, Los Angeles
19 March - 10 September 2017

Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971 presents the storied history of the Dwan Gallery, one of the most important galleries of the postwar period in the U.S., and the dealer and patron Virginia Dwan. Founded by Dwan in a storefront in Westwood in 1959, the Dwan Gallery was a leading avant-garde space during the 1960s, presenting groundbreaking exhibitions by Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Smithson, among others. A keen follower of contemporary French art, Dwan gave many of the Nouveau Réalistes their first shows in the U.S. In 1965 she established a second space in New York City; Dwan New York would go on to provide the first platform for now-major tendencies in the history of contemporary art including Minimal Art, Land Art, and Conceptual Art. She was a leading patron of earthworks and sponsored major projects including: Heizer’s Double Negative (1969) and City: Complex One (begun 1972); Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970); De Maria’s 35-Pole Lightning Field (1974); and Charles Ross’s Star Axis (begun 1971).

Dwan was a major force in the international art world yet has received relatively little attention, due in part to the closure of her gallery after only eleven years in 1971 (her Los Angeles space closed in 1967). Featuring paintings, sculpture, films, and drawings by a wide range of artists, this exhibition retrieves Dwan’s singular contributions and reexamines the important history she made, highlighting in particular the increasing mobility of the art world during the late 1950s.

LACMA, Los Angeles


Robert Grosvenor

Artist Run New York: The Seventies (group show)
Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, Dubai
9 March - 30 June 2017

Artist Run New York: The Seventies explores the transformation of contemporary art in 1970s New York. The exhibition looks at the vital role artists played in an artistic revolution that underscored multi-disciplinary collaborations that went beyond the visual arts to include performance, film, theatre, dance, writing and music. The blurring of these lines served to influence the trajectories of each discipline for decades to come.

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation

Robert Grosvenor

The Renaissance Society, Chicago (solo show)
11 February - 9 April 2017

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled, 1989-90, Courtesy of the artist and the Renaissance Society
Robert Grosvenor, Untitled, 1989-90, Courtesy of the artist and the Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society presents an exhibition by Robert Grosvenor, the centerpiece of which is an untitled sculpture from 1989–90, re-contextualized within a spare architectural installation.

Over this 50-year career, Robert Grosvenor has produced a body of work that is at once solidly physical and conceptual, muscular and fluid. Grosvenor frequently uses industrial materials and found objects as he experiments with texture and scale, resulting in sculptures that reveal a handmade quality and subtle vein of humor. The works resist interpretation, instead quietly and strangely asserting themselves both as assemblages of relationships and as discrete, holistic entities. Critical reception and written accounts of his work over decades reflect an artist who has enamored his audience specifically for his ability to elude them.

For this sculpture, at once monumental and human-scale, Grosvenor adapts the materials of infrastructure—concrete blocks, steel, Plexiglas and paint—evoking what critic John Yau has suggested is the labor of an “anonymous worker.” It is simple to perceive this work. But to really see it, that requires time and patience. Its meaning is always emergent, at play with the viewers’ memories and their psychic relationships to the materials and objects at hand. Its careful, exacting occupation of the exhibition space sets this stage for exploring, both in mind and in body. 27 years after its initial realization, how has our sense of this sculpture, from its formal language to its frank materiality, evolved or expanded?

The Renaissance Society, Chicago