Installation view , Bedside Tables  series.

Installation view, Bedside Tables series.

Rachel Grobstein


Private Collection (2019) View Exhibition>>


Artist Statement

I create miniature sculptures and paintings based on objects from everyday life. My work ranges from constellations of paintings that evoke arrangements of natural specimens to sculptures that engage with the history of still life, cataloguing a daily world where domestic routine meets consumer culture and personal history. These pieces invite close scrutiny through a radical scale shift. The handmade details unfold slowly, in conversation with the amount of time it has taken to create the work. 

I recently completed a series of miniature tableaus based on the objects found on people's bedside tables. I began by asking friends for pictures of their nightstands, and then expanded the series to include colleagues and strangers across the country. I have long been interested in how people’s collections create snapshot biographies, and I became fascinated by the wide array of objects kept on bedside tables, where tissues and the day’s receipts are collected alongside souvenirs, prescriptions, cherished mementos, and personal items. I'm interested in how these collections speak to universal themes, from memory and self care to sexual identity and dream life. I created 32 works in this series between 2016 and 2018. 

My constellations of cut, painted paper are installed directly into the wall with pins, referencing specimens and creating an architecture of shadows. Works in a recent series are composed of objects drawn from the mythology of specific constellations, celestial movement, and inventories of daily life. This work is informed by research into how space junk is rapidly accumulating in the earth's atmosphere, out of sight like garbage in landfills but not gone. 

Selected Work

Rachel Grobstein is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. She is currently an artist in residence at the Museum of Arts and Design. She has had solo exhibitions at Next to Nothing Gallery (New York, NY, 2018), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL, 2018), the Roswell Museum and Art Center (Roswell, N, 2017), and This Friday or Next Friday (Brooklyn, NY, 2015). Other exhibitions include Ulterior Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, David & Schweitzer Contemporary and Arcilesi & Homberg Fine Art. Awards and residencies include a Roswell Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, a Jentel Foundation Foundation, a Hammersley Foundation Grant, and a Vermont Studio Center Full Fellowship and Residency supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She received her MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BA in Philosophy and Visual Arts from Bowdoin College.