Jan Groover

How much craft does it take to make a picture; a career?

“Even though it sounds stupid and it sounds cold ‘Formalism is everything’

is not a bad thing to say.”

– Jan Groover –

Much discussion occurs among photographers about process and such. To my ear, this is akin to deciding which side of the toilet paper is better. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The object is a carrier.

technical prowess, I need to know as much as I need and no more

Jan Groover on technical

Jan Groover (April 24, 1943 – January 1, 2012) was an American photographer who spent the last years (1991->) of her life in Montpon-Menesterol, France, with her husband, painter Bruce Boice.

Jan Groover, profile

Groover was also the subject of a short film by photographer Tina Barney entitled (Jan Groover: Tilting at Space, 1994).

Short Bibliography:

  • Danese, Renato, ed. American Images. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979, pp. 140-49. 
  • Danoff,Michael I. Jan Groover: Color Photographs. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1980. 
  • Euclaire, Sally. The New Color Photography. New York: Abbeville, 1981, pp. 35—41, 58-67, 257-58.Danese, Renato, ed. American Images. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979, pp. 140-49. 
  • Green, Jonathan. American Photography. New York: Abrams, 1984, pp. 154—55, 222-23.Danese, Renato, ed. American Images. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979, pp. 140-49. 
  • Groover, Jan. The Attributes of Positions: Semantics of the Highway. New York: s and m, 1973.
  • Jan Groover: Photographs. Purchase, New York: Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase, 198
  • Groover, Jan. The Attributes of Positions: Semantics of the Highway. New York: s and m, 1973.
  • Sobieszek, Robert. Masterpieces of Photography from the George Eastman House Collections. New York: Abbeville, 1985, pp. 408-09, 440.

She is represented by Janet Borden Inc.

Unbox: Jungjin Lee

Months after ordering, Desert, by Jungjin Lee arrived. It is worth it.

“And now, over twenty years later, when I examine these works, I encounter the same experiences and energy I had felt then and there. Transcending time and space, everything is still, my mind is perfectly quiet, and I know I face ‘eternity and the absolute.’”

A boxed set. As you see, a large slipcase consisting of 4 sections of images and a word piece with text by Lee and by Robert Frank. This guide section provides index sized images of the picture contents that are the 4 books of Desert.

  1. Desert: 1990-1992
  2. American Desert: 1994 [toned]
  3. American Desert: 1993-1994 [triptychs]
  4. American Desert: 1994-1995

Jungjin Lee was trained as a ceramicist in Seoul. She came to the US in 1988 and studied photography at NYU.

I travelled a lot of the time in the middle of nowhere, I used to travel a lot in the Southwest states of America in the early 90’s. It has never mattered to me the name of the place where I photographed. I always like to go somewhere where I’m all by myself and there is the feeling that no one had previously set foot where I am. In Israel I travelled a lot in the Nagev desert and the West Bank, not so much in the city. This name ‘unnamed road’ relates to my previous work but also to the Israel project. Israel has such a long history that relates to the land and so many layers, so everybody puts different meanings on the place however when I say ‘unnamed road’ it feels contradictory. — Jungjin Lee, March 2015

Her work method is hand-coating paper and toning. Not far from the earthen materials and mode of ceramics. Her images retain that touch with, even so much as to distort the optical clarity of lens based photography.

Born 1961, Taegu, Korea


1991 MA, New York University, Major in Photography, New York

1984 BFA, Hong-lk University, Major in Ceramics, Seoul, Korea

Publications **:

2006 Jungjin Lee, Yelwha-Dang Art Publication, Seoul
2005 Thing, Minseogak publication, Seoul
2002 Desert/Jungjin Lee, Sepia International Inc. New York
2001 Jungjin Lee 99-01 On Road/Ocean, Kukje Gallery/Sepia International
2000 Jungjin Lee: Beyond Photography, Shigak Publications, Seoul
1997 Wasteland, Art Space Seoul, Seoul
1996 Dissolving Landscapes, Wesleyan University, Connecticut
1993 The American Desert, Shigak Publications, Seoul
1988 A Lonely Cabin in a Far Away Island, Yelwha-dang Art Publication, Seoul