For his first solo show, Jeremy Grant went for the big guns. As in themes existential, religious and naturalistic.
Grant's found-object collage pieces have previously been exhibited in two-person and juried shows; the collection at The Modbo, titled LIFE>>through>>DEATH, are all new and represent his most ambitious effort to date. Most pieces feature found objects that Grant has distressed or otherwise reconfigured in an effort to tell a story of triumph over adversity.
There is a big-picture spiritual tie — life after death — plus the everyday idea that little deaths can make you stronger. Each sealed under a glossy layer of resin, the pieces are all approximately 21/2 feet by 4 feet, with the exception of two collage pieces that are over 7 feet long and are the focal point of the exhibit.
"The large pieces surprised me. They sprung out at me," he says. "I had this wood panel lying around, and the idea came to me — what if I cover this whole thing with collage, and the other pieces are referential to the large piece?"
So from the smaller works, you can expect hints that connect with the two larger offerings, with interpretive elements ranging from deeply Christian symbolism to naturalistic progressions like evolution. From the large works, expect a feeling of transition, through the colors and object placements.
Collage can feel overwhelming visually, but the award-winning Grant has a deft touch, creating a feeling of narrative. He envisions each piece as part of a story with a timeline. But as with most works of non-figurative art, he acknowledges that often viewers find things in his work that even he himself has not seen. In these heavily detailed pieces, he expects it.
"With so many different objects, people find what resonates to them," he says. "But through a filter of finding strength from adversity, I hope my art will remind them of circumstances they have been through."