76 Grand Street
Surrender was an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Matt Greene. This new suite of paintings was inspired by erotica and its screenic image as a vehicle to address formal concerns such as surface, color, and space.
Known for his ethereal landscapes of fleshy fungi and bushy bombshells, Matt Greene continued in this series an exploration of his favorite shelves in the library: horticulture, vintage pornography, horror films, fairy tales, 19th-century Symbolist art, and of course the history of Modernism. These disparate interests—and the weighty themes of gender, sexuality, and epistemology that accompany them—Greene masterfully approached in a hallucinatory, visionary manner allowing them to come together in phantasmagoric splendor on his canvases.
In Apparitions, we saw a spreading out into space of Greene’s normally clustered and congealed nymphettes. Holographic bodies writhed in superimposed planes of space, separated by Greene with glowing quadrilaterals of lush color. These vaguely sinister apparitions were sometimes interspersed with skeletons or swords, incongruous objects problematizing the average-Joe fantasy and alerting the viewer that much more was going on than the familiar poses might have betrayed.
In The Silken Trap/ Abnormal Orgasm, we saw a similar evocative pose repeated as though in an enclosed space filled with mirrors. A second horizon line of repeated female forms was introduced behind it, and was blended into the primary figure plane with ejaculatory white splotches. That We Do Not Appear to Fly is of Little Consequence shared this compositional trope but circulated not only wicked witch silhouettes and fetishistic striped thigh-highs, but also all manner of poisonous plants and verdant washes.
In both Surrender paintings we found one of Greene’s familiar compositional devices, that of the overall and serialized figural dispersal. Anonymous-looking tarts pouted and posed amidst Halloween-ish witches and mushrooms. The occasional deletion of the girl’s body, leaving only the fetish-attire, suggested the depersonalization already present from the composition, where the figures were mere props for the fetish, and all included personages seemed iterable sex-crazed dolls.
While the subject matter may have at times seemed deliberately kitsch, the practice in which it was elaborated upon was not, and it was the tension created between those two disparate tendencies wherein the paintings gained their exciting suggestibility.
Although Matt Greene is already known to New York audiences through his participation in group exhibitions such as Scream at Anton Kern in 2004, this was his first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition was accompanied by a full-color catalogue with an essay by Benjamin Weissman.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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