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Angela Grossmann


  • born in 1955 in London, England; grandparents from Germany
  • immigrated to Canada in 1970
  • received a B.A. in Journalism from Ryerson, Toronto, Ontario (1978), graduated from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1985, and received a M.F.A. from Concordia University in Montréal, Québec (1991)

expanded images click on thumbnails at left to view larger images

Angela Grossmann has devoted much of her career to examining the themes of displacement and social margins, indicating at once that an interest in the Holocaust and European history has effected her subject matter. In the series (sign)ifying the END of the (second) 2nd World War (1990), images of those lost in the war make the connection obvious. Less direct is Affaires d’Enfants (1987), a series that involved painting on the insides of suitcases abandoned by an agency in Paris that sponsored summer camp holidays for orphans. The suitcases act as symbols of the abandoned in society, also as signifiers of privacy and ownership. Grossmann painted the insides with imagery that heightened a sense that the interior of the suitcase was the inside of someone’s private world, a world upon which the viewer trespasses. The 1990 series Scapegoats was based on mug shots taken of prisoners in the British Columbia Penitentiary during the 1940s. Combining painting and photography, Grossmann creates a strange world of sad portraits that hover between fantasy and reality, in which we are forced to face the human side of criminals. Of the work she says: "In our highly cleansed times, it seems bourgeois institutions feel it necessary to protect us from ‘unsavoury’ elements (the bad, the mad, the dead). This work attempts to make visible some of those hidden from view" (1996). Researching the abuse of prisoners during the 1940s and the injustice of the penal system, Grossmann approached the prisoners as a subject through which to question this system. With their lives robbed of dignity, they echo in their own way the atrocities of the Holocaust and the treatment of Jews during the same decade. "Because we have devoted the past 50 years to wrestling with the seemingly impossible certainty that six million Jews were murdered while the world looked on, and because we remain appallingly complacent to the genocides that are being perpetrated as the century ends, no one could look at Grossman’s melancholy subjects, or consider her fascination with the dross of the lost, without taking the Holocaust into account" (Bill Richardson, 1999). Grossmann has taught painting at Ottawa University (1991 to 1993) and at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (1996) and currently teaches painting and theory at the University of British Columbia.



1998 Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, British Columbia


1997 Surrender
Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Sylvia White Contemporary Artist's Services, New York, New York


1996-90 Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1993 Bourget Gallery, Montréal, Québec


1989 Angela Grossmann: A Recent Survey
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia


1988 Angela Grossmann: Recent Works
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1987 Affaires d'Enfants
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1986 Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia



1997 Absolute L.A. Invitational
Sherry Frumkin Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Figuratively Speaking
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, British Columbia


1995 The Spectacular State: Fascism and the Modern Imagination
The Teck Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Basic Inquiry and the Vancouver Holocaust Society, Vancouver, British Columbia; Articule, Montréal, Québec


1994 '64-'94 Contemporary Decades
Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Expressive Portrait
The Exposure Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Artfair Seattle
(Diane Farris Gallery) Seattle, Washington (part of public displays project)


1993 MONTAGE 93: International Festival of the Image
Rochester, New York


1991 Christmas Exhibition
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


1990 ART/LA '90
Los Angeles, California

Artropolis '90: Lineages and Linkages
The Roundhouse, Vancouver, British Columbia


1989 Graham Gilmore, Angela Grossmann, Derek Root
49th Parallel Gallery (Diane Farris Gallery), New York, New York


1988 Great Strides
Stride Gallery (in association with the University of Lethbridge collection), Calgary, Alberta


1987 Art Cologne '87
Cologne, West Germany

Fresh Air: Eight Vancouver Painters
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, British Columbia

Vancouver Painters
Paul Kuhn Fine Arts, Calgary, Alberta

West Coast Painting: New Directions
Canada House, London, England


1986 Four Vancouver Young Romantic Painters
Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris, France


1985 Young Romantics
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Five Young Artists
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Futura Bold Installation
Convertible Warehouse, Vancouver, British Columbia

Anne Billy, Pierre Dorion, Angela Grossmann, Landon Mackenzie
49th Parallel, New York, New York


1984 Futura Bold
Unit Pitt, Vancouver, British Columbia

Warehouse Show: Local Contemporary Art
Vancouver, British Columbia



Blanchette, Manon. "Aux confins de la tradition et de l'ouverture." Vie des arts (Summer 1987): 26-28.

Canada Council Art Bank Catalogue, 1972-1987. Ottawa, Ontario: Canada Council, 1987.

Carter, Sam, Letitia Richardson, Maurice Yacowar, et al. 64-94: Contemporary Decades, 64-69. Vancouver, British Columbia: Charles H Scott Gallery, 1994.

Danzker, Jo-Anne Birnie. Graham Gilmore, Angela Grossmann, Derek Root. Vancouver, British Columbia: Diane Farris Gallery, 1989.

Genereux, Linda. "Canadians regroup in N.Y." Metropolis 1, no. 44 (23 March 1989): n.p.

Grace, Sherrill. "Painting on edge, 1987." American Book Review (Spring 1988): n.p.

Hasselfelt, Karen. Angela Grossmann: Recent Works. Vancouver, British Columbia: Diane Farris Gallery, 1988.

Kaplan, Joel. "Graham Gillmore, Angela Grossmann." Vanguard 16, no. 4 (September/October 1987): 30.

"New era of painting on show at Canada House." Canada Today, no.13 (November 1986): n.p.

Richardson, Bill. "Job satisfaction. Artist Angela Grossmann calls her new show My Vocation because painting is her profession and her passion." National Post, 10 March 1999, p. B-7.

Szilasi, Andrea. Lush: (Luxuriance). Montréal, Québec: Articule, 1995.

Templeman-Kluit, Anne. "The Young Romantics at the Vancouver Art Gallery." Vancouver Magazine (June 1985): n.p.

Thomas, Gilda. "Four Young Romantics of Vancouver." Vie des arts 31, no. 25 (December 1986): 58.

Varney, Ed, Ann Rosenberg, Librado M. Anonuevo, et el. Artropolis 90: Lineage and Linkages. Vancouver, British Columbia: AT Eight Artropolis Society, 1990.

---, Joyce Woods, Irene Dual Chan, et al. Warehouse Show: Local Contemporary Art. Vancouver, British Columbia: Warehouse Show, 1985.

Watson, Scott. "Angela Grossmann: Affaires d'enfants." Canadian Art (Fall 1987): 119-20.

---. Review of Futura Bold. C Magazine (Spring 1985): 22-23.

---. Young Romantics. Vancouver, British Columbia: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1985.

---, Pierre Dorion. Anne Billy, Pierre Dorion, Angela Grossmann, Landon Mackenzie. New York, New York: 49th Parallel, 1985.

Wolff, Theodore F. "New York art galleries that sizzle in summer." Christian Science Monitor (June 1985): n.p.


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