© Jan Groth
Wool, tapestry weaveexpand_more
The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more 2017.104
Early in his artistic training, Jan Groth gravitated to drawing in crayon on paper. He intended to bring out the texture of his materials and reveal the subtle roughness of seemingly smooth paper. When Jan Groth attended a tapestry workshop led by his future wife, Benedikte (Herlufsdatter) Groth, he immediately fell in love with the texture of tapestries and the gridded restrictions that weaving imposed. Groth has said his work is about “silence and light,” and “the balance between almost something and almost nothing.”
Sign, 1979 is the first work by Groth to enter Mia’s collection. It expands Mia’s strong and growing fiber art collection, a unique genre for its dominance by women artists. The tapestry also builds a clear bridge between works in fiber as they relate to other media. Works in the collection by Norma Minkowitz and Helena Hernmarck blur the lines between fiber art and drawing, while others by Sheila Hicks and Shinique Smith cohabit the worlds of fiber and painting. Sign, 1979, with its representation of a line that is clearly both woven and drawn, forces us to question the boundaries we have built around medium and technique.