James Grashow’s extraordinary corrugated board sculptures, along with his intricate woodcut prints, are featured in a solo show at Flinn Gallery (second Floor, Greenwich Library) through April 26, 2017.
Here’s an artist who really thinks outside the box.
Many viewers, at the packed opening last Thursday evening, couldn’t miss this sophisticated aspect of his art, and its easy and entertaining appeal.
“Seeing part of my body of work together in a fantastic space like the Flinn Gallery has given me the opportunity to see where I’ve been and where I want to go,” says Grashow. “You remember where you were with each piece, what you were thinking and how and why each work evolved,” he adds.
At the first impression of Corrugated World, it is indeed impressive and theatrical; working with cardboard is the foundation for this artist’s work.
The constructions and woodcut prints are arranged according to Grashow’s vision – for the viewer’s first glimpse through the grand-sized gallery space. 69 life-size Monkeys hang out in the entrance, as they peek through the glass, hung on metal posts in a playful manor.
Stunning Cardbirds emerge next, inspired by James Audobon prints, and create a unique dimensional view and are highly detailed. Quite large in scale, they are made from corrugated board and twist ties, some painted, and some left in their natural, tan hue.
More extraordinary corrugated board sculptures appear; two lovely painted Houseplants, ‘Black/White Houseplant’ and ‘Fish,’ and at first glance seem to be delicate and beautiful flowers, but are actually intricately crafted houses and fish emerging from carved stems and leaves.
Next, a pair of ten foot high ‘Dancing Couples’ delight as they are constructed to move, and are secured on wheels. Grashow turned up some jazzy music and delighted in cruising them to and fro on opening night. Behind them stands a 13 1/2 foot high ‘Corrugated Flower Pot’ with textural detailing and swooping leaves.
The back wall graces Grashow’s colorful ‘Fish Parade,’ and are hung dramatically in layers, as the fish float in harmony with each other.
Side walls, throughout the gallery are home to Grashow’s extensive woodcut prints, which he has been tooling since the early sixties. His printmaking technique is meticulous – he hand carves images into soft pear wood and hand presses thin Japanese paper to create intricate images.
The artist, who has worked as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, has illustrated album covers for high-profile musical groups including Jethro Tull, Yardbirds, Ramsey Lewis Trio, and The Chieftains.
Brooklyn born Grashow, who earned both BFA and MFA degrees from Pratt Institute in New York City and has lived in Connecticut for 40 years, has exhibited widely at museums and galleries, including the DeCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, MassMOCA, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Peabody-Essex Museum and Museum of Modern Art, NY, among many others.
“Jimmy Grashow is that rare breed of artist who has a surplus of creative ideas, the dexterity of a craftsman, the skill of an artisan, and an ability to engage with his audience, gaining him friends and fans alike,” says curator, Margot Clark- Junkins.
“I remain in complete astonishment how Grashow’s crafty repurposed corrugated board develops into such magical three-dimensional sense,” says curator, Karen Sheer.
Flinn Gallery is supported by the Friends of Greenwich Library and this exhibit was sponsored by Citarella. The exhibit was curated by Margot Clark-Junkins and Karen Sheer. Admission to the gallery is free and events are open to the public.
Flinn Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10am – 5pm, until 8pm on Thursdays, and from 1-5pm only on Sundays. Flinn Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of Greenwich Library, 101 W. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT 06830; www.flinngallery.com.
Fri. March 24
Friends Friday Film & Art “Double Feature”
Documentary film screening of Cardboard Bernini followed by Q&A with Artist James Grashow, Cole Auditorium, 8:00pm. Extended gallery hours prior to film, Flinn Gallery, 5-7:45 pm. (Artist present)
Thurs. April 6
Public Talk Coffee with the Curators, Flinn Gallery, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.