Blurring the Edges | Angela Grossman

Blurring the Edges


Angela Grossmann is a Vancouver-based painter whose work muses on themes of social displacement and marginality. Though she’s better known across Europe, her work is quickly gaining popularity and recognition in her North American homeland.

Born to bohemian artists in the UK in 1955, her family immigrated to Canada in 1970. In London, her mother painted anti-war posters while her father was a graphic designer. Originally, Grossmann studied journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto before the artist decided she wanted to tell her stories visually.


After settling in Vancouver in 1981, Grossmann studied at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Her big break came in 1985, when she displayed her pieces at the Vancouver Art Gallery and gained public recognition for her layered and textured pieces that read more like misty collages than oil paintings.

Grossmann says her figures aren’t based on one person but thousands of collected people and found objects, like theatrical characters in a play. A recurring theme in her work is transition, especially the transition from girlhood to womanhood. As a female Canadian artist, Grossmann feels twice removed from any type of cultural centre, and her work boldly expresses the liminality of identity in the modern Canadian context. Currently, Grossmann teaches painting and theory at the University of British Columbia.