yellow onion (after Jan Groover)

It’s yellow day and unintentionally so. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, drinking iced tea. The Evens play. It’s raining. I look around and notice one color. Yellow. Onions. Sofas. Legal pads.

This Jan Groover (1943, American photographer) triptych which is on my computer screen.

Untitled by Jan Groover, 1976. Chromogenic color prints, each 15 1/8 x 15 1/8″ (38.5 x 38.5 cm).

Do you know her work? She trained as a painter and references art history in her photographs, Renaissance perspective drawings to Cezanne’s tabletops. Groover uses a number of camera formats to alter perception and plane, which results in abstract spatial arrangements in her still-life, portrait, and landscape photography.

I remember when I first saw Jan Groover’s still-life of ordinary silverware. I went numb and came to with the thought, I want to make that. Saturated smeary light over crisp subjects.

Untitled by Jan Groover, 1979. Chromogenic color print, 14 3/4 x 18 3/4″ (37.4 x 47.6 cm).

I came across her work again by accident a few weeks ago while doing research at MoMA.

Untitled by Jan Groover, 1985. Gelatin silver print, 11 7/8 x 15″ (30.2 x 38 cm).

So, I made this photograph yesterday as an homage to Jan Groover.


Yellow Onion (after Jan Groover), 2011.

I’m in awe of her work.

Where do you find inspiration, photographic or otherwise?


  1. says

    Your photo Yellow Onion is fun. I hadn’t heard about Jan Groover before reading your post but really like her work that you’ve shared and your description of her work. There’s something magical about getting inspired isn’t there? Whether it’s a taste that you need to replicate at home or a poetic or visual aesthetic, these influences keep us growing, our worlds ever expanding.

  2. John Froats says

    Thanks for this post. found it looking for mentions of Jan. Jan passed away 1/1/12. I was a student of hers. She will continue to touch others with her images.

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