Garvey|Simon is pleased to present Joan Grubin: The Detritus Series, an exhibition featuring compact and complex collages created with colorful ephemera from the artist’s studio. This is Grubin’s first solo show with Garvey|Simon. The opening reception will take place on November 16, 6-8pm. The artist will be present.
Joan Grubin sources paint-covered, protective pressed wood from a supply that amassed in her studio over a 13-year period. She cuts and orchestrates these vibrant fragments, covered in accumulated layers of detrital brushstrokes, into collages that look and feel like gestural painting. These modestly-scaled works of deeply saturated color constitute a diaristic record of random studio activity: drips of glue, imprints left from paint-soaked toweling, bits of tape, and plaid-like streaks of color from painting countless paper sheets. Intensely charged through compression of scale, the small constructions float out from the wall, while unseen fluorescent paint casts a soft halo of color behind.
Grubin’s one rule in the creation of these works is that no intentional marks be added. These intimate structures are a collaboration between intention and chance. The pieces stay true to what Grubin explores with her larger paper works and installations, creating “optical experiences which raise questions about the discrepancy between what we see and what we know.”
In Detritus Series #5, the seams between the mosaic-like sections appear as delicate black lines that create a tension between the fragmentation and fusion of the pale surface. Pale yellows and blues emerge from behind wide strokes of white. The orange backside, which matches the front edge, reflects softly on the wall, creating a calm illusion of transparency and illumination.
Similarly, dayglow orange hues on the surface of Detritus Series #1 appear to penetrate through the material and irradiate the wall behind. Although it is much smaller than the others, Detritus Series #1 appears sizable with its bold blocks of color and slightly askew horizontal and vertical lines.
By choosing to work in this intimate register, Grubin draws us in close and invites us to enter a parallel universe of space, where “small” can take on the gravitas of much larger work.
Joan Grubin received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. Recent solo shows include the Commonweal Gallery, Bolinas, California and The Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, New York. She is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for Creative Arts Abroad, and the NYS Foundation for the Arts.