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Gary Groves [born 1938]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

GROVES, Gary (born 1938)

“Entangled no. 1”


woodcut / 15 3/8 by 16 1/8 (image)

Bainbridge Island resident Gary Groves’ series of woodcut prints titled “Entangled” are intimate studies of nature found in the Pacific Northwest. Removed from their context and seen at close range, they become abstract gestures, arabesques, the graceful curves of Japanese calligraphy. They are also akin to the insights of other artists working a wildly different media. Almost a century earlier German photographer Karl Blossfeldt was also fascinated by plant forms; “urformen” or archetypes, he called them, and published a collection in 1929 as Urformen der Kunst. Likewise Blossfeldt’s images bear uncanny resemblance to the cast iron and terra cotta ornamental forms of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, working in the late 1880s and early ’90s.

“If I give someone a horsetail he will have no difficulty making a photographic enlargement of it. Anyone can do that. But to observe it, to notice and discover old forms, is something only few are capable of.” — Karl Blossfeldt

Blossfeldt might have said the same of Groves’ woodcuts.

“Cucurbita” / photograph by Karl Blossfeldt (German, 1865 – 1932) (25.9 × 20.3 cm  / 10 3/16 × 8 in.)

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