James Grant Abstract Expressionist Collage
James Grant Abstract Expressionist Collage
James Grant collage. Artist signed and dated bottom right ’95
Rare horizontal composition: 4 across 3 vertical
Encaustic and oil mixed-media abstraction on heavy stock fiber board cut and reorganized into a matrix.
Mixed media on heavy stock fiber cut and applied to board in 9 square matrix.Textured and vibrant colored work deploying minerals and other quartz-like materials mixed with paint on heavy card stock paper.
Adopting a novel approach to abstract expressionism, Grant takes apart his abstract compositions-cutting them up into small squares and distributing them across an orderly grid. Surrendering the fruit of his own sensibility, Grant collaborates with chance to generate new works based on the varying relationship of fragments in a matrix composed from the detritus of larger works.
In the process, Grant explodes the singular gesture or narrative of a conventional painting.
By redistributing the original work-or works-into small squares and reordering this metonymic legacy into a pictorial sequence, Grant thereby deconstructs the pictorial narrative imbedded in the abstract expressionist syntax of action and resolution.
There is no longer a master narrative, no singular symphony of gestures.
Instead, we are invited to re-integrate in our minds the many possible associations to be formed from the fragments of his work.
Against that invitation we are also beckoned to engage in the irresistible impulse to rebuild what has been divided, looking for common threads in form and color in order to reconnect what has been divided and establish whether or not we are viewing the remnants of a single work or multiple works and whether, and to what degree, elements have been rotated, borrowed and lost.
Navigating the multiple points of reference between these discrete forms, we form in our own mental landscape associations across negative space between compartments of fragmented form.
We actively participate in composing the work by interrogating it-proposing to ourselves how the varied forms will relate to one another. Moreover our composition is neither fixed or finite. The mental associations we form between squares change from one moment to the next. The eye cannot rest on any one square or even one relationship. We cannot help but try on different patterns and sequences of sight looking form one square to another and finding new dialogues with each scan.
The work here is ours to be lost and remade with each viewing.
Work was never exposed to UV damage or unnecessary handling and was safely stored in archival paper in a flat file prior to professional framing with archival materials.
Colors are saturated and vibrant with rich textures delivered by use of minerals and quartz-like particulate matter suspended in paint.. Sheet is crisp with no creases or contamination
*James Grant Biography:
A painter and sculptor, James Grant (1924-1997) was born in Los Angeles and died in Stinson Beach. He was active from the 1950s into the early nineties. Best known for his sculptural work in plastics and abstract paintings, Grant also explored collages and bas-reliefs. USC degree in Engineering; M.F.A. at the Jepson Art Institute in Los Angeles under Rico Lebrun; Assistant Professor of Art for nine years at Pomona College in Claremont, CA in the fifties where he worked with Frederick Hammersley, Karl Benjamin, Peter Selz and Seymour Slive.
Solo exhibitions: Pasadena Art Museum, Pomona College; U.C. Riverside; Galleria Pogliani in Rome; M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, 1963; a retrospective at Mills College in Oakland In 1970 traced his transition from abstract canvases to collages to bas-reliefs and finally to sculpture.
Group exhibitions: Los Angeles County Museum, the Oakland Art Museum: San Francisco Museum of Art.
Several commissioned works in the seventies incorporating plastic and glass.
In 1962, Grant returned to the United States from a two-year stay in Rome and settled in San Francisco where he continued his work with Collage. During the sixties he showed at the Hansen Gallery in the Bay Area and the Bertha Schaefer Gallery and Grand Central Moderns in New York.
His collages began to include polyester resin that he also cast into large reliefs and his widely recognized sculptures of high polish geometric disks and tall spikes.
The eighties and nineties marked a return to painting with the production of small watercolors cut into squares and reassembled into grids. This format was taken to a larger scale with acrylic painting on canvases that were cut into squares and reassembled in works ranging from four to eight feet.