Alina Grasmann

Sculpting in Time

November 15, 2020 – January 5, 2021

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Sculpting in Time 1 (2020), Oil on canvas, 51” h x 70” w

Fridman Gallery is honored to present Sculpting in Time, Alina Grasmann’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring two new series of Grasmann’s masterful large-scale paintings, combining imaginary, real, and emotional places. The paintings reflect the artist’s fascination with American architecture, landscape, mythology, cinema, literature, and otherworldly illusion.

 

The Montauk Project is inspired by several literary and historical references to the Eastern-most beach community of Long Island, New York. A conspiracy theory of the same name alleges that secret government experiments were conducted there, to develop psychological warfare techniques and esoteric research including time travel, teleportation, mind control, contact with alien life, and staged Moon landings. The Swiss writer Max Frisch used the town as the setting for his novel Montauk, a story published as fiction, however the events factually happened. Grasmann’s Montauk Project depicts hauntingly deserted restaurants, hotels, and vantage points in and around the town.

 

In Sculpting in Time, the second series featured in the exhibition, bizarre dreams are set against the backdrop of the experimental desert town of Arcosanti, Arizona, a site of visionary utopia and a relic that embodies its future as well as its past. Inside its rooms, Grasmann leads the viewer through an imaginarium of items and objects arranged as a cabinet of curiosities that reject clear symbolism, lending the scenes to be explored and filled with subjective meaning. Sculpting In Time is the name of the creative manifesto written by the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, whose visual language shares an enigmatic quality with Grasmann’s work. The compositions unfold in time, yet every scene appears frozen in the minds of the viewers.

Alina Grasmann is a realist painter whose large-scale, site-specific series blur fact and fiction. Her works are inspired by her travels, American architecture, film, and literature. Each series contains about 10–15 paintings, all based on specific locations. Grasmann researches places and then visits them in real life, recording her experiences and the atmosphere through photographs. Drawn to the narratives of each place, she compares the reality and sensation of the place with the way she imagined it would be, then makes interventions by changing or adding objects, or erasing parts. Rather than illustrating existing myths about a place, she aims to create space for association so new stories emerge.

 

Grasmann lives and works in Munich, Germany, having studied at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Grasmann’s work has been exhibited at several museums in Germany, including Kunstverein München, Galerie der Künstler, and Hubert Burda Media.

Press

Someplace In Between

by Charles Moore

Fine Art Connoisseur

February 2, 2021

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Sculpting in Time 2

2020 

Oil on canvas

51” h x 70” w

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Sculpting in Time 3

2020 

Oil on canvas

51” h x 70” w

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Sculpting in Time 4

2020 

Oil on canvas

51” h x 70” w

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Sculpting in Time 5

2020 

Oil on canvas

51” h x 70” w

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The Montauk Project (did you have a good time)

2019 

Oil on canvas

39” h x 55” w

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The Montauk Project (i like your sense of humor)

2019 

Oil on canvas

39” h x 55” w

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The Montauk Project (how did i encourage you)

2019 

Oil on canvas

39” h x 55” w

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The Montauk Project (when did i encourage you)

2019 

Oil on canvas

39” h x 55” w

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The Montauk Project (you have an open face)

2019 

Oil on canvas

55” h x 39” w

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The Montauk Project (how do you know)

2019 

Oil on canvas

55” h x 39” w

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The Montauk Project (you are a monster)

2019 

Oil on canvas

55” h x 39” w

When Alina Grasmann came to New York City from Munich for her opening, she downsized her studio practice during the quarantine period and created a miniature series of extreme crops of the large-scale paintings on view in the exhibition. 

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Alina House.jpg
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