Discipline: Visual Art

Kathy Grove

Discipline: Visual Art
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 1994, 2011

Kathy Grove is an American conceptual feminist photographer. As a professional photo retoucher for fashion magazines, Grove became familiar with airbrushing and photo manipulation techniques in that industry. Her work uses those skills to remove subjects from iconic works, or to alter their appearance. Grove wrote that this practice is intended to "portray women as they have been regarded throughout history, invisible and inaudible." Her photo series, The Other Series, includes reproductions of canonical paintings in Western art with the feminine subjects removed.

Kathy Grove was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to two graduates of the Carnegie Tech Architecture School. Grove learned mechanical and architectural drawing working in the Pittsburgh office of her father.

From 1966 to 1970, Grove studied painting, printmaking and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and its Honors program in Rome, Italy.

Upon moving to New York in 1978, Grove initially supported herself by teaching, and doing cartographic drafting and photo-darkroom work. She continued to create topographic wall reliefs of paper, photo montage materials, Masonite, and aluminum painted with acrylic and encaustic, slowly introducing silhouettes of recognizable images. She became involved with the Heresies Women’s Collective, exhibited in group shows, and in 1984, had her first solo show at P.P.OW. Gallery, at its original location in the East Village.

Grove curated her own show, Selling Us Ourselves, about the conceits of advertising, for the store front vitrines of the non-profit venue 10-on-8. Working at Oya DeMerli’s SiteOne Digital Studio, Grove collaborated in 1994 with the COLORS magazine graphic designer Tibor Kalman to create "Reagan With Aids," a protest poster, and "What If…", racial-facial makeovers in which celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, the Pope, Spike Lee and others had their race changed.


Studios

Nef

Kathy Grove worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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