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"Project Series 31: Katie Grinnan: The Rise and Fall" Opens at the Pomona College Museum of Art

“Project Series 31: Katie Grinnan: The Rise and Fall,” an exhibition of sculpture and video, will be on view from November 5 through December 17 at The Pomona College Museum of Art. An opening reception will be held at the Museum from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 5. Grinnan will present an artist lecture on Wednesday, November 8, at 4:15 p.m. in the Museum.

An interest in space has always been at the forefront of Katie Grinnan’s work. Her sculptures involve the collision of physical, photographic, psychological, public, private, and political space. Grinnan uses photographs as material for sculpture, and deconstructs and complicates both mediums by collapsing, folding, and mirroring photographic images into and around wooden and metallic forms, merging interior and exterior form and space. Grinnan constructs her sculptures from panels of Sintra—a thin, hard, plastic material—upon which she attaches large photographs, then anchors them with a variety of other materials like rebar, cement, wood, etc.

Grinnan recently was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2006 Pollock-Krasner Award. She was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and the important survey exhibition “Snapshot” at the UCLA Hammer Museum. Her work is in the public collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

This exhibition includes five loosely related works of art: the book Rubble Division; two videos—Rise and Fall and Rubble Division Interstate that document different components of Grinnan’s project; and two interconnected sculptures—Tower Story and Crane.

The book, Rubble Division, documents a three-part project of the same name spanning 2005 through 2006. Rubble Division emphasizes movement, transformation, renewal, and ruin. Consistent with this idea, the piece exists in multiple forms and perspectives proliferating its own mythology sculpturally, through video, and through language.

In the first stage of the project, Grinnan was commissioned by the Aspen Art Museum to create a float for the Fourth of July Parade in 2005. The float divided ruined and built space, partitioned the sounds of the band Cacophonous Sarcophagus, and manipulated the spectators’ experiences so that one side of the street’s perception would be different than the other. The second stage, titled Inverse Parade, reversed the constructs of a typical parade, with the panels of the float fragmented and dispersed along the side of the road and the spectators moving through space in a 15-person van at the High Desert Test Site in May 2006.

The third phase of the project, Rubble Division Interstate, was part of the exhibition “Interstate: The American Road Trip,” curated by Andrea Zittel of the High Desert Test Site and Allyson Baker and Robyn Donahue of Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. The panels from Inverse Parade were reconfigured into a roadworthy, high velocity, nomadic sculpture that was broken down and reassembled daily. The Rubble Division, a seven-person army including Grinnan, two musicians (The Meat Bees), and several friends embarked on a journey across country beginning at Joshua Tree and ending at Socrates Sculpture Park.

The book Rubble Division compresses all the components of the project into one moment, acting as a photograph of the time period. The videos complement Grinnan’s project—Rise and Fall depicts the breaking down and building up process, while Rubble Division Interstate conveys the scope of the interstate journey itself. Tower Story and Crane represent examples of Grinnan’s earlier investigations into memory, perception, time, and space. These two sculptures were some of the first that Grinnan made that began to explore issues of breaking down and building up, and processes of destruction and reconstruction.

“Project Series 31: Katie Grinnan: The Rise and Fall” is the thirty-first exhibition in the Project Series. Organized by Museum Curator Rebecca McGrew, the Project Series presents Southern California artists in focused exhibitions. The purpose of the series is to bring to the Pomona College campus art that is experimental; that introduces new forms, techniques, or concepts. During each exhibition, participating artists spend time on campus working with faculty and students in relevant disciplines. The Project Series is supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance and Pomona College Museum of Art Advisory Committee member Sarah Miller Meigs.

The Pomona College Museum of Art is located at 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283 or visit the museum’s website at

The Pomona College Museum of Art collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets works of art. The Museum houses a substantial permanent collection as well as serving as a gallery for the display of temporary exhibitions. Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics, and beadwork; and a large collection of American and European prints, drawings, and photographs, including works by Francisco de Goya, José Clemente Orozco, and Rico Lebrun.