A. R. T.
Mark Grotjahn: Butterfly Paintings
Mark Grotjahn's ongoing Butterfly series—one of several investigations into the natural world in Grotjahn's oeuvre—focuses on perspectival techniques used since the Renaissance, such as dual and multiple vanishing points, to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. Though at first the Butterfly paintings may appear entirely formal and graphic (alluding to modernist painting from Russian Constructivism to Op art), the raylike "butterfly wings" are often layered over under-paintings, giving them texture and tonal depth. This volume, published to accompany the first exhibition of Grotjahn's butterfly paintings at Blum & Poe in New York, not only collects these arresting compositions, but also delves into the artistic contexts involved, in an essay by Douglas Fogle that discusses the history of the Butterfly works since their conception in the early 2000s.