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b. 1943, Switzerland

Françoise Grossen Biography

Emerging in the late 1960s alongside contemporaries such as Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, and Lenore Tawney, Grossen sought to relinquish the traditional tools and methods of textile and fiber art, instead utilizing a free-hand braiding and knotting technique allowing for greater freedom and spontaneity in her process. Works appear simultaneously weightless and weighted, both masculine and feminine, all the while reinforcing their objecthood.

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Grossen’s knotted and plaited rope sculptures eschew the four edges that delimited traditional tapestry, and boldly enter the third dimension by hanging from the ceiling or unfolding directly onto the floor. Grossen pushes beyond this initial rupture with the rectangle and the wall to explore the weight of her material and its response to gravity, an investigation that aligns her art with broader artistic debates taking place in New York and elsewhere. (Jenelle Porter, Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present [Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 2014], 198)

Having studied architecture and later textile design at Kunstgewerbeschule Basel and at UCLA with Bernard Kester in the 1960s, Grossen became keenly aware of her ability to bring fiber sculpture into unexpected and experimental realms (hanging from the ceiling, draped on the ground or over pedestals, floating in bodies of water). Grossen’s interest in the weight and physical composition of her chosen material is evident in her earliest hanging manila rope sculptures, Study for Embarcadero (1970) and Sisyphe (1974), as well as in later hand-painted and dyed Metamorphosis (1987-1990) works. Humble materials, drawn from nature and manipulated in the studio, are coaxed into elegantly intertwined and draping forms, elevating the utilitarian to something extraordinary.

Françoise Grossen (b. 1943 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland) lives and works in New York City. Recent group exhibitions include Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present, which was held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH and the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (2014–2015). Her work is in international public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC; and the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Françoise Grossen Featured Artworks

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Metamorphosis I (5) by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenMetamorphosis I (5), 1986Manila, plaster, fabric, paint
37 x 6 x 3 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Apodid (formerly ALAR) by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenApodid (formerly ALAR), 1986Manila
12 3/4 x 61 1/4 x 16 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Alpha by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenAlpha, 1991–1992Partially painted paper piping cord, linen
238.8 x 24.1 x 31.8 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Metamorphosis IV (3) by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenMetamorphosis IV (3), 1987-1990Dyed and acrylic painted manila, plaster
73 x 20 x 10 inches
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Maquette for Private Home by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenMaquette for Private Home, 1980Linen, cotton
26 x 7.5 x 2 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Rudin Management, Fragment 560 Lexington Ave, NY by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenRudin Management, Fragment 560 Lexington Ave, NY, 1981Manila rope and loose fiber partially dyed
62 x 44 x 5.5 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Embryo (detail) by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenEmbryo (detail), 1987, modified 2016Manila and cotton rope, synthetic wrapping material
21 x 62 x 12 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Swan by Françoise Grossen contemporary artwork
Françoise GrossenSwan, 1967Undyed sisal; double half stitch
82 x 36 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work

Françoise Grossen Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Françoise Grossen, Solo Exhibition at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
2 November 2017–6 January 2018 Françoise Grossen Solo Exhibition Blum & Poe, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Françoise Grossen, Contact III at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
2 July–20 August 2016 Françoise Grossen Contact III Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Françoise Grossen, Françoise Grossen at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
4 June–14 August 2015 Françoise Grossen Blum & Poe, New York

Françoise Grossen Represented By

Françoise Grossen In Related Press

Tied and true: Françoise Grossen's twisted ropes at Museum of Arts and Design, New York Related Press Tied and true: Françoise Grossen's twisted ropes at Museum of Arts and Design, New York 25 November 2016, ARTnews

Françoise Grossen’s career is undergoing a renaissance: the first U.S. survey of her work was held last year at Blum & Poe Gallery in New York, followed by exhibitions in Los Angeles, where the 73-year-old Swiss artist was a student before moving to Manhattan, in 1969. She began by working on the loom in the tradition of Anni Albers, but...

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A Textile Artist’s Long Overdue US Survey Ropes You In Related Press A Textile Artist’s Long Overdue US Survey Ropes You In 1 July 2015, Hyperallergic

Human figures seem to lurk in almost all of Françoise Grossen‘s folded, knotted, and coiled rope sculptures. They are resolutely abstract, the elaborate assembly of their drooping and dangling materials inviting close inspection, but seen from a distance their proportions, silhouettes, and the weight with which many of them hang a little...

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