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Barbara Grad (born 1950) is an American artist and educator, known for abstract, fractured landscape paintings, which combine organic and geometric forms, colliding planes and patterns, and multiple perspectives. Her work's themes include the instability of experience, the ephemerality of nature, and the complexity of navigating cultural environments in flux. While best known as a painter, Grad also produces drawings, prints, mixed-media works and artist books. She has exhibited in venues including the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Danforth Art, Rose Art Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art and A.I.R., and been reviewed in publications, including Artforum, Arts Magazine and ARTnews. Grad co-founded Artemisia Gallery, one the country's first women-artist collectives, in Chicago in 1973. She has been an educator for over four decades, most notably at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Grad has been based in the Boston area since 1987.
Chicago, Illinois, US
|Education||School of the Art Institute of Chicago|
|Known for||Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Artist books|
Grad's work is noted for its loose, painterly invented spaces, lush color, and ability to conjure wide-ranging allusions to land and seascapes, urban sprawl, or ecological concerns. In 2018, critic John Yau wrote that Grad's "patterns and striations evoke watery reflections and geological strata, tilled land and strip mines, without shedding their identity as abstract, painterly marks. […] She evokes a world undergoing myriad changes, from the incremental and unavoidable to the deliberate and cataclysmic." Describing the 2016 Grad show "Off Road," The Boston Globe's Cate McQuaid observed, "Grad paints energy and movement, not things. [Her] stripes, colors, and crashing forms conveying urgency as she places us on the precipice of chaos."