For over a decade Grotjahn has probed the internal logic of his deceptively simple trademark form, which he identifies as a butterfly. At first glance this work may bring to mind 1950s high modernism, but unlike early Color Field painters Grotjahn is not concerned with flattening the picture plane. To create the illusion that his geometries stretch, shrink, approach, and recede, the artist uses a multiple–vanishing–point perspective technique, famously adopted by Renaissance artists to give a sense of depth to their paintings. Grotjahn rejects the hard–edge precision typically associated with formal abstraction in favor of a handmade aesthetic.
Gallery label from Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, April 22, 2009–January 4, 2010.