Jan Groth, who was born in Stavanger in 1938, is one of Norway’s most renowned artists, with a wide international reputation. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the United States, as well as in Japan and other parts of the world, while his artistic activity has taken place mainly in Oslo, Copenhagen and New York. Groth’s art is represented in numerous major museums. In addition to his career as an artist, Groth has maintained a position as a visiting professor for 12 years at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
At the age of 34 Groth was invited to exhibit at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York for the second time. This exhibition was to be his international breakthrough. It created major attention and Groth’s works was soon after purchased by both the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The exhibition from Betty Parsons also went on a tour in the United States. The last stop was at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1973 where the exhibition, originally planned to last for one month, was prolonged with six months and attracted some 200.000 visitors.
In the following years an increasing number of private collectors and museums in the United States and Europe showed interest in Groth’s art. Works were purchased by major institutions like the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Whitney Museum (New York), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), The Tate Gallery (London), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and Graphische Sammlung Albertina (Wien). Also Canadian museums like the Musée des Beaux Arts (Montreal) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Asian museums like the Museum of Modern Art in Toyama (Japan) and of course major Scandinavian museum like Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (Oslo) and Statens Museum for Kunst (Copenhagen) were among the numerous buyers.
The overwhelming interest in Groth’s art led to an extensive range of exhibitions and public commissions in the years to come. In addition to participating in a vast amount of group exhibitions, Groth has set up on-man shows in museum and galleries all over the world. To take a few examples Groth has exhibited in Marian Goodman Gallery (New York), Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris, Staatliche Kunsthalle (Baden Baden), Städtlische Galerie im Lenbachaus (München), Lousiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen) and Moderna Museet (Stockholm). One of the highlights of Groth’s career was the exhibition at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York) in 1986, a show that confirmed his exceptional position in the art world. Among his later achievements are the exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto) and the large retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. This exhibition was among other institutions also shown at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. A large monograph on Groth was written in connection with this exhibition: Karin Hellandsjø: Signs, Oslo, 2001.
Groth’s art is popular among both scholars and the ordinary public. His extraordinary achievements and his importance as an ambassador of Norwegian art and culture since the early 1970’s have even awarded him the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.