Kate Groobey - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon: Charity Online Auction London Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | Phillips

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  • Kate Groobey finds power in love. Her paintings are pastel-hued but punchy, articulating the experience of strong, Queer womanhood at a time of heartbreak. Groobey, in particular, references “rising homophobia, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, [the persecution that gave rise to] the Woman-Life-Freedom movement, and war”. She upholds the ideals of equality, solidarity and, ultimately, love. 


    Higher II, 2024, is drawn from a new painting and performance series ALWAYS LOVE (Sim Smith, London, March 2024).

    'We need support in order to thrive. We need people around us who lift us up, at home, at work, in wider society, our institutions and state apparatus, and from beyond our national borders.'
    —Kate Groobey

    Two protagonists feature across much of her work: Jina Khayyer, a writer of Iranian descent and Groobey’s wife, and the Female Stallion, Groobey’s own equine avatar.  The lexicon of motifs here extends to a giant rose, providing a ‘symbolic boost’.


    Artist Studio. Photo: Courtesy of Kate Grooby

    There is deep feeling in the message, and the medium. Groobey’s heroines are poured, spooned, and dripped onto canvases to create vivid, texture. The two-dimensional painted world is further brought to life in costumed performance and video incorporating Groobey and Khayyer's intimate daily conversations, reframed as mantras of strength and empowerment.


    Installation shot:  Always Love, Sim Smith, London, UK. Photo: Courtesy of Kate Grooby and Sim Smith

    Kate Groobey (b. 1979, Leeds, UK) lives and works in France. The artist received a BFA from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University and an MFA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London. Solo exhibitions have taken place at: Sim Smith, London; Sean Horton (Presents), New York; RIBOT, Milan; IKON, Birmingham; David Lynch’s Club Silencio, Paris, among others. Group exhibitions include König Galerie, Berlin; NOMUS New National Museum, Gdansk; White Columns; New York. Groobey has received awards from Arts Council England, the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize, and the Royal College of Art, London.


    Kate Groobey, I Heart, Again

    • Provenance

      Donated by the artist and Sim Smith, London


Higher II

signed and dated 'Groobey 2023' on the overlap
oil on canvas
30 x 40 cm (11 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2023.

Full Cataloguing

£4,000 - 6,000 

Contact Specialist

Olivia Taylor
Head of Sale
+44 7823 791 633

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon: Charity Online Auction

12 - 19 March 2024