jan groover

oct 05 - dec 22, 1995
via r. farneti 10

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1943, Groover studied painting and drawing at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and became a photographer in 1970.Her earliest work consists of sequences of two or three photographs from which she analyses the process of perception of the images. The camera is stationary in front of the moving object, cars and trucks flashing past on roads and highways, and she precisely captures every variation of space caused by factors of time, distance and velocity.

Her research of this period relates to the conceptual artists such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jan Dibbets, William Wegman and is best exemplified by a small book “The Attributes of Positions: Semantics of the Highway”.

To this first phase belong the cycle of colour photographs portraying industrial building facades,houses of suburban landscape and architectural details.


In 1979 Groover began experimenting with a very old printing process, the platinum-palladium.

Aware of the possibilities of this method, which offered an exquisite range of values, textures and tones she used this technique to investigate the theme of still lifes in a completely new  way.This gave rise to conscious or potential images of everyday reality opening up to unfamiliar situations and significances.

The ordinary is transformed into a formal absolute composed of poetical allusions and strong existential tensions, in a disturbing state of immobility.

During these years Groover often used colours, combining an exuberant chromatism with a rigorous structural composition and widened her artistic quest to other subjects: portraits, landscapes, parts of the body and still lifes.

The still lifes of the late 80s are much more artificial than her previous ones. The notion of representation is more complicated and emphasizes the capacity of photography to make works of the imagination.


This exhibition is her first one-person show in Italy and concentrates particularly on platinum-palladium  and colour still lifes of the late 70s and of the 80s. Her recent work is also represented with some photographs of ‘92 taken in a large outdoor studio “sandbox” where she can assemble the most disparate objects, creating unusual relationships and meanings between them.


Groover has received many awards and has exhibited in international galleries and museums.

In 1987 she was given a mid-career retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York ,and the first full-scale monograph of her work by John Szarkowski. was published in 1993.


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