The Dark Power of the Alpha Girls

It’s no surprise that Vancouver’s Winsor Gallery is featuring Angela Grossmann at the upcoming mega-show, Art Toronto.  Grossmann is an influential artist who has been examining themes of displacement and social margins for decades.  These inspired works from her Alpha Girls series are especially relevant at a time when bullying is a top item on the public agenda. They are so poignantly accurate. (Above: Outside Inside Outside)

The mixed media works express the ultimate control of girl groups. They capture the unrestrained power of adolescent females and the cruel withholding of acceptance from girls outside the inner circle.  (Above: Blonde)

The Alpha Girls, she says, “seem all-powerful” but “the range of envy and admiration and idolatry is ridiculous, because it’s so fleeting.” She paints not only alpha girls but the “anti-alphas,” and one thinks of Reena Virk, the British Columbia teen who was beaten to death by a group of teenagers, mostly girls from her high school, in 1997.  -From Canadian Art magazine (Above: Alpha Girls Gang)

-Wounded Bird

-Above: Two Girls / Below: Walking Away

Angela Grossmann graduated from Emily Carr College (now University) of Art + Design in 1985. That year she was introduced as one of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s “Young Romantic” painters most likely to influence the course of painting in that decade. After earning an MFA at Concordia University and teaching at Ottawa University, Grossmann returned to Vancouver in 1997 to paint and to teach at Emily Carr. She has exhibited widely across Canada, the United States and Europe and her work is in numerous public and private collections. In June 2006, she was included in a list of 100 artists who have most influenced students at eleven leading British art schools, including the Royal Academy, Slade and Royal College of Art.  See more on her website, here.

10 replies »

    • So you’re obviously familiar with her entire body of work, which I also find remarkable. This particular series is my favorite, in part because it’s just so powerful.


  1. Every woman can appreciate the “inside/outside” feeling she delivers in such moving detail. I, too, would love to see these in person. Will find out if she’s exhibiting in the American southeast any time soon. She marrys her pictoral work and painterly quality so well; as a mixed media artist myself, I know how hard that is to achieve!


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s