The story behind this beautiful book, by Zhang Jianzhong, an artist, professor, president of Yunnan Art Institute:
During my 1995 USA visit, a friend introduced me to Arthur Grossman, an authority on art education administration. Mr. Grossman is the Divisional Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington at Seattle, with over ten years of experience running a college. After a free and satisfactory talk about college administration, he took me to see an exhibition of his photographs. I was amazed by his work
I knew that Arthur was an internationally renowned musician and an experienced art educator, but his photographs gave powerful evidence that he is also a talented, unique and creative abstract photographic artist. Due to my love of fine arts, and ignoring his achievements in music and art education, of which he might think higher than his photography. I just couldn't wait to discuss his photographic art with him. "What did you take the photographs of?" I asked. Instead of answering my question, he asked me to guess. "Did you manipulate the object before you took the photos?" I asked. He assured me that he hadn't touched anything. "What camera did you use? Did you use any special techniques?" I asked. He said he used a regular camera and no unusual techniques. " Do the line and structure of color in your paintings have anything to do with the melody and rhythm of your music?" I asked. He said he had never thought of the relationship between his photographs and his music... and thanked me for my admiration of his works. We became friends.
Later, after many talks with him, I learned that many of his abstract photos were of parts of deserted boats on the seashore. However, it is only the fist step to discover old and rotten planks, rusty iron bars, nails and sea creatures that stuck to boats and to take what he has seen to create material for his artistic creations. The second step of artistic creation shows more of Arthur's talent, the keen eye sees the difference. He discovers natural pictures on old boats comprised of shapes, colors, lines, and volume. The way he crops and enlarges the pictures shows his wonderful originality. The viewer sees splendor in his art-he casts aside documentation, which features photographic art, and goes straight for the abstract element. Departing from the long accepted idea that "light and shade are a photographer's life", he strives to flatten his images with diffused light, which casts no shadows. As a result, he adds new content and meaning to photography.
Arthur's brave and respectable exploration in photography has been a great success. His photographic work gives the viewer a unique visual stimulus that excites the heart. They radiate an aesthetic feeling that ranges from ancient to modern times, and summarize the development from realism to abstract in a vivid way. Arthur takes many photos of an object before he selects his series with great care. He creates his art from many different angles of view and level, seeing art in the least noticeable objects, taking photos with limited natural angles, and making small and elegant pictures. Eventually, he draws the viewer into his boundless world, where the viewer is given full play to his imagination.
Arthur's photography is subjective abstract art originating from objective nature, a complicated and simply extraordinary creation. His art embodies the accomplishments in self-cultivation. My questions about his photography are no longer relevant. His comprehension of art and culture, his personal character and his endless explorations have given birth to his wonderful creations.
When I invited Arthur to show his photographic works and lecture at the Yunnan Art Institute, he accepted with pleasure.
In March of 1996, we held a concert, and exhibition of his photographic work and a symposium on art education and administration, all in his honor. It was an unprecedented success. Arthur brought us not only new ideas and experience in art and education, but his representation of America's friendship as well. This album of his work, published in Yunnan, is a symbol of his precious friendship.