Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Diamond Floor by Barbara Grossman

  • Title: Diamond Floor
  • Artist: Barbara Grossman
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Size: 50"h x 40"w
  • Added to collection: 2004
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B9/2 Library

Grossman's monumental but intimate work shows two women gathered at a table studying what appears to be sheet music.  Figures and furniture are brought right up to the surface: the table is seen in vertical projection (as if seen from above and from the side), not in linear perspective  as it would in a photograph.  To further flatten the space Grossman has added a diamond pattern rug parallel to the surface which functions both as floor and wall.  But the effect is not to completely flatten but rather compress the space via parallel planes and overlapping.  The paint handling is sensuous and the palette is built around the lush interaction of blue and orange, opposing colors in full strength and dilution. The artist has acknowledged the influence of Henri Matisse as well as Indian miniature painting on her work.  She stresses the importance of visual pleasure in art.  Grossman has said: "I am interested in flat and deep happening simultaneously through repetition and pattern."