Mary Grigoriadis


Dates of Membership:



“A portal is defined as a door, gate or entrance, especially one of imposing appearance, as to a palace” and as an ‘entrance to a tunnel.’ My drawings and paintings depict rigid fantastic structures, densely packed with pattern and color around and open center which functions as an entrance to the space beyond the surface. The work explores the interaction of patterns using a bilaterally symmetrical format of frames within frames. These pieces continue to celebrate opulence, order, and the decorative, without apology.”

In many cases, the women’s art movement in the 70s presented as much of a challenge to the formal conventions of the modern art world as it did to its politics. Since the early 70s, Mary Grigoriadis has devoted much of her work to rebuking the then unquestioned dominance of westernized, rationalist masculinity as expressed via the aesthetics of minimalism. Early in her career, Grigoriadis embraced the Pattern and Decoration movement, one which used the often dismissed art of women’s handiwork to introduce new approaches to composition, space, and design. Her dense, layered works make use of symmetrical formations and bold colors that manifest into almost maze like landscapes. Later works display an integration of said designs with architecture, such as in the Portal series, in which Grigoriadis utilized her studies of ancient Greek architectural forms to add further complexity to her intricate patterning. In addition to Greece, Grigoriadis has studied an incorporated design elements from a diverse array of cultures with an interest in Byzantine and Assyrian sources in particular. Grigoriadis embraces the sensual, decorative, aspects of her practice while simultaneously approaching the study of handiwork with an intellectual vigor that insists on its value as a source of innovation within the arts.

Mary Grigoriadis was born in 1942 in Jersey City and pursued her art education in New York at Barnard College, and later Columbia University. She had her first exhibition at A.I.R., and became one of several founding members actively challenging the male oriented culture of minimalism and conceptualism through feminist art. She has been an advisory board member of A.I.R. since 2002. Grigoriadis has show internationally and, in 1986 received a Fellowship Award in Drawing from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She currently lives and works in New York.



Photo Credit: Judy Cooper

Photo Credit: Judy Cooper

Where to Find Her Work:

Accola Griefen Fine Art, Brooklyn NY

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH

Chase Manhattan Bank Art Collection, NY

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC

The Virginia Museum of Fine Art, VA