Jan Groover Exhibition at SUNY Purchase – “Formalism is Everything”


The Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery at SUNY Purchase is pleased to present an exhibition of Jan Groover’s photographs. Jan Groover taught at Purchase College, SUNY, in the photography program in the School of Art+Design from 1979-1991.Hired to teach the first color photography class in the School of Art+Design, Groover ushered in a new era of photography to the Purchase community. Professor Emeritus of Art+Design Jed Devine, a colleague and dear friend, reflects, ” …attitude, a conviction and a desire to inquire and engage. She came to play and if you were in her class you had better be all in, because she was. Jan could be friendly, funny, and fierce at almost the same time. She could be tough, hot, but it was the fire of the forge steeling students to be stronger, sharper, better. And they loved her.”

Formerly trained as a painter, Jan studied at Pratt Institute and Ohio State University, buying her first camera (a 35mm Pentax) in 1967. Her early photographs, featuring triptychs and diptychs, captured street scenes of passing trucks and cars, and later included carefully composed fragments of suburban homes and storefronts.

Prominent in the exhibition are a series of kitchen still life photographs from 1978 – meticulously crafted compositions of everyday kitchen utensils such as forks, knives, cake pans and plants. Susan Kismaric, former curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, writes in an eloquent essay for the exhibition, ” Groover’s photographs revealed, above all, a bracing commitment to form, a commitment so intense that the ‘ subject’ of her pictures was elusive, if not seemingly non-existent. ‘ Formalism is everything,’ she declared.”

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1943, Jan lived and worked in NYC until 1991, when she and her husband, Bruce Boice, moved to Montpon-Menesterol France. She lived and worked in France until her death in 2012.
Jan Groover has had numerous solo gallery and museum exhibitions in NYC and in Europe including at Janet Borden, Inc. NYC; The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; the Musee de Periqueux, France; The Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase College NY; The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. In addition, her works are part of prestigious collections at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, NY; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; The Neuberger Museum of Art,  Purchase, NY; and the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA. She is the recipient of awards including two NEA Fellowships (1978, 1983) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979.

Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery
Exhibition Dates: February 25-March 29, 2013
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm or by appointment

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 28, 6-8pm

SUNY Purchase Visual Arts 1001



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