“The Assist” stainless steel, 18’ x 34’ x 10’  This permanent public sculpture was commissioned by Chaes Food Corporation and the City of Philadelphia.
“Self Equivalent, by Weight” 44” x 10” x 10”. Consists of a solid bronze sphere that weighs the same as my body. Inspired by scientific instruments for weights and measures that are used as the standards by which all other things are weighed and measured.
“Double Self-Portrait as the God Janus” 2017, foam, digitally carved, 20” x 110” x 10” Inspired by Janus, who could see the past with one face and the future with the other. It is a mobile that rotates slowly on currents of air in the gallery.
"Twilight in the Forest"
“Crate for the Museum” 1998, aluminum, foam, Column is about 45’ tall by 40” diameter, installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
"For the People" pink insulation, vinyl siding, 13’ diameter x 30” wide
"Right Arm Raise, Severed" mixed media, 30" h x 22" w x 5" d
"Shield with Heart" mixed media, 30" h x 22" w x 5" d
“Double Slump” 2019, plate steel, two elements 36” x 32” x 24”. Maps are generally understood to be sources of reliable scientific information, but they can be drawn with bias and point of view. This sculpture plays on the idea of the mutability of maps.
“Font” 2020, concrete, 60” x 28” x 16” Made from a digitally altered scan of my body. It is hollow and filled with water so that is continually “sweats” through the outer surface through small pinpricked size holes.
“Long Neck” (left) 2020, concrete, This work is made from a digitally elongated and distorted scan of my body.10’ x 28” x 16”  “White Head” (right) concrete, 44” x 22” x 30”
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Member Portfolio

Michael Grothusen

Sculpture that is influenced by early modernism, minimalism, the body and the use of unorthodox materials

Résumé

Artist Statement

My studio work is an investigative process that is rooted in a tactile connection to material. It is diverse in terms of scale, scope, and content.

I'm a mixed media sculptor who makes objects, temporary site-specific installations and have also completed two permanent public commissions for the City of Philadelphia. Each genre has its unique intentions, audiences, and outcomes. Some works are deliberate conversation starters and some are designed to pre-empt written and spoken language in an attempt to focus on the present tense aspect of viewing art.

The primary reason I make sculpture is the tactile, formal and kinetic possibilities. Most of my work has nuances that, by design, don’t translate well to second hand experiences like photography and video.

When sketching out ideas for new pieces, I begin with this basic question: What is it like to be in the space with the sculpture and what will the viewer remember later?

Artist Biography

Michael Grothusen is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His work has been exhibited locally, regionally and nationally including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia International Airport, the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. He has completed two permanent public commissions for the City of Philadelphia. One person exhibitions include Carnegie Melon University, Drexel University, Bucks County Community College (with Buy Shaver), and Dickinson College. He has received grants and fellowships from the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Pollock/Krasner Foundation and three Individual Artist’s Grants from the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts. He received a BFA in sculpture from the University of Kansas in 1988 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1991.

Education

1991
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
MFA, Sculpture

1990
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

1988
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
BFA, Sculpture

1986 - 1987
Brighton Polytechnic, Brighton, England

Awards and Honors

Grants

2008
Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Professional Development Grant

University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Faculty Development Grant

2006
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Faculty Development Grant

2001
Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts Grant
Visual Artists Fellowship

University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Venture Fund

1998
Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Visual Arts Fellowship

University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Venture Fund

1997
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

1995
Pew Charitable Trust, Philadlphia, PA
LaNapoule Art Foundation Artists' Residency, LaNapoule, France

Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts Grant
Visual Artists Fellowship

1993
Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts Grant
Visual Artists Fellowship

1990
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
Full Scholarship

Public Commissions

2015
City of Philadelphia, Percent for Art
Finalist, Viaduct Rail Project

2014
Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, PA
Finalist for commission for new cardiac care wing

Skopelos Foundation for Art
Noon Mark Skopelos, Greece

2011
Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia
Chaes Foods, The Assist

2009
Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia
Finalist, Federal Reserve Bank, Origin of All Else

2008
City of Philadelphia, Percent for Art
Finalist, Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center, Two Rings/Two Positions

2007
Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia
Finalist, Spring Arts Point, Typology of Vessals

2001
Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia
The Point Where Things Change

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Midway of Another Day

Professional Experience

2009 - Present
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Associate Professor, College Core and Sculpture

2000 - 2009
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Assistant Professor, Foundation, 3-D and Time Motion

Artist Videos

Matter Exhibition
Collaborative exhibit at Bucks County Community College with painter Buy Shaver.

Self Portrait Pacing the Floor
A solid bronze sphere has been machined to correspond with the exact weight of my body. It continually "paces" back and forth across the room on a 24 foot beam.

Explanation of Mysterious Forces
The map of Antarctica is counterbalanced and suspended from a single point at the South Pole. It rotates slowly clockwise and counter clockwise under the power of an electric fan.

Exhibitions

Installation/Solo

2021
Art and Artifact, Dickinson College, Goodyear Gallery, Carlisle, PA

2018
Matter, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA

2017
Double Self-Portrait as the God Janus, Gallery 114, Portland, OR

2014
Secret Sharer, Skopelos Foundation for Art Secret Sharerk, Skopelos, Greece

2013
Good Luck to All Artists, Old School at Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2009
Life's Joys-Life's Disappointments, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA

2008
I Heard a Fly Buzz, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA

Scale Model, From Memory, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2007
Life's Joys-Life's Disappointments, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

2001
(Un)Explained Phenomena, Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA

1998
Bodies, Memories, Weights and Measures, Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA

Twenty Philadelphia Artists - Celebrating Fleisher Challenge at Twenty, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Be Here Now, Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Melon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Group

2023
81st Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Collections, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA

2021
The Body Language, The Room Contemporary Art Space, Venice, Italy
In collaboration with the Italian German Cultural Alliance

215/610 Contemporary, Delaware County Community College, Media, PA
Curated by Christina Vassallo, Executive Director of the Fabric Workshop

New Now IV, InLiquid Art Gallery, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Sculpture in the Glen, Gladwyn, PA

Me, Myself and I, The In Art Gallery
Curated by Buzz Spector, selected for Best in Show

2019
8th Beijing International Art Biennial, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2018
77th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Syd Carpenter

2017
Double Self-Portrait as the God Janus, Gallery 114, Portland, OR

All the Water in My Body, UArts Faculty Exhibition, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA

2016
View From Above, UArts Faculty Exhibition, Kimmel Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2014
I Am What I Am Doing, Charlotte Street Foundation, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Process Wood, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Chain Letter, Samson Projects, Boston, MA

2010
This is the Only Place that Can Save My Heart, Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Alex Gartleman

2009
1.5 Million, Stella Elkins Tyler Galleries, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Corey Antis

Forever Young, Celebrating 70 Years of Art, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA

2009
1.5 Million, Stella Elkins Tyler Galleries, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Corey Antis

Forever Young, Celebrating 70 Years of Art, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA

2007
Foundation Faculty, Works on Paper, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2006
On Ice, Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Curator: Kathy Bruce

65th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Polly Appfelbaum

1999
Stations, Temple Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Kevin Melchionne

1998
Eight Contemporary Artists, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA

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