Pictures of Women. Greene's recent work is about finding a space for representational art in contemporary culture. He seeks to find some common ground between the historical form of painting and the indexed stacking of images created by digital media. In the show, the artist presents large-scale works that further his investigations into the connections between sexual fetish, the female figure, and forms of nature.
Matt Greene's recent work is about finding a space for representational art in contemporary culture. How does our way of seeing fit into the natural world? The artist seeks to find some common ground between the historical form of painting and the indexed stacking of images created by digital media. In Pictures of Women, his second solo show at Deitch Projects, Greene presents large-scale works that further his investigations into the connections between sexual fetish, the female figure, and forms of nature. Asserting that painting occupies an inherently ambiguous space between fantasy and material, Greene's landscapes depict environments in which multilayered images superimpose themselves over the experience of reality. Faceless androgynous figures engage in ritualized behavior in spaces resembling holograph viewing rooms from science fiction; gridded chambers into which fantasies are projected. These works incorporate drawing and photography interchangeably and indifferently; the heavily textured surfaces that emerge are dripped with thick coatings of varnish that trap the images like insects in amber.
Each work begins with a series of photographic thumbnails taken by the artist that are glued onto the canvas in a bulletin-board fashion. From the array, Greene selects images to enlarge on the canvas. A deep sense of illusionist space is created with lines of perspective, only to be flattened by the application of subsequent layers. As the surface builds up with paint and paper, incisions are made and areas are peeled back; excavations which reveal earlier incarnations of the work. Quilt-like patterns emerge between textures and images, only to be covered again in ejaculatory layers of paint that builds up like cave formations. In a series of pencil drawings, Greene arranges figures in bands resembling caryatids, the female-shaped load bearing columns of classical architecture.
Matt Greene's work has recently been included in Against the Grain at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Mannerfantasien 2 at COMA in Berlin, Eden's Edge at the UCLA HAmmer Museum in Los Angeles, Fractured Figure at the Deste Foundation in Athens, Dream and Trauma at Kunstalle Vienna and The Left Hand of Darkness at The Project in New York. Recent publications include Hellbound: New Gothic Art, edited by Francesca Gavin and Mythtym, edited by Trinie Dalton. He currently lives and works in New York.
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