The art I make is concerned with how the human body experiences the constructed environment. I explore how we use the primary senses and more pointedly the subconscious in reaction to conditions such as enclosure, proximity, and precipice. These sensory and extra-sensory mechanisms have been innate in humans since the beginning of time. I suspect they are waning as our environments become increasingly mediated and untethered from the physical world. I am exploring this theme primarily in sculpture with supporting works in drawing and painting. As a sculptor I work by carving into wood, assembling wood and/or corrugated cardboard, casting plaster and concrete, and sometimes modeling in clay or plaster. I often coat those materials in part or completely with stain, paint, wax, encaustic or other media. I use color to differentiate forms and heighten relationships and to describe the tone of the work. My work reflects the physical properties of materials and my fabrication processes in tandem with the expression of conceptual ideas; each aspect of the work informs the others. I often work in drawing and painting to develop and hone concepts. These works inform my sculpture practice but are most often not studies for sculptures.
I focus on constructed spaces because they represent a prior human endeavor - the intent, culture and philosophy of another person or society. When a person moves through or occupies a built environment they partake in a form of dialog with history, which introduces a cerebral layer to the otherwise visceral experience. Each individual processes an environment through their own unique filters – physiology, psychology, memory and personal history. The individual is alone, even isolated in their consciousness while bound to history, to society through the commonality of these lived experiences. I think this duality in human consciousness is at the root of our existential dilemma – we are solitary and social beings.
Stephen Grossman is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture, drawing and painting in New Haven, CT. He was trained as an architect and received his BArch from The Cooper Union in 1986. He has been exhibited at Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, The Drawing Center, Aldrich Museum, Real Art Ways, Heller Museum, Artspace New Haven, New York Studio School Dumbo Sculpture Studio, Weir Farm Trust Gallery, Schweinfurth Art Center, Mt Ida College, Giampietro Gallery, Kenise Barnes Fine Arts and other venues. In 2023 he will be an artist in residence as a fellow at the Ballinglen Foundation. In 2020 he was an artist in residence at Streamways in Rockingham, VT. In 2006 he was a visiting artist at the Weir Farm Historic Trust. In 2002 he received an NEA grant for his public art project “Fencing”. He has taught visual arts at The University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University. In addition, he has curated exhibitions at the (untitled) Space gallery in New Haven including a Sol LeWitt wall drawing installation in 2001. He served on the board of Artspace New Haven from 2002 to 2009 and was president of the board from 2004 to 2007.