press release

Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present a selection of paintings from the 1980s by Stephen Greene [1917-1999]. While Greene began his five-decades-spanning career as a figurative painter of existential themes, he later increasingly explored the language of abstraction. Towards the last two decades of his life, he established a deeply personal style, in which abstract form and symbolic themes created unusual textures.

In the works from the 1980s, dynamic fields of color and expressive lines are fused with more representational elements, such as fragments of plant life and bone structures. As the titles, such as "Gardens of the Night" and "Expulsion" suggest, these works reflect Greene's early interest in religious subjects, yet embedding them in mysterious non-objectivity. When addressing his overall ambition, Greene noted in 1999: "I have always wanted to achieve a profoundly moving image, to make of paint and canvas a visual fact worth dealing with on many levels. Art does set up a particular world and the one that suits my vision of what I see, know, deals with the dark side of experience as well as its enchantment and pleasures."

In his catalog essay, which accompanies this exhibition, Robert Storr describes Greene's paintings as works "in which a sweeping grasp of modernist tradition was filtered through a keen intelligence and innate lyricism [and which are] informed, layered and the site of sure-handed poetic synthesis."

Stephen Greene's work is part of such important collections as those of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; The Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Detroit Institute of Arts; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, MA; Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena; Tate Gallery, London, England; amongst many others.

A catalog with essays by Robert Storr and Marshall Price accompanies this exhibition.

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Stephen Greene