ArtBeat/Media Watch: Mark Greenwold’s “Secret Storm: Paintings 1967-1975”

Mark Greenwold, associate professor of painting and drawing at UAlbany, is currently exhibiting some of his early, controversial, explicitly sexual work at DC Moore Gallery in Manhattan.

The exhibit, “Secret Storm: Paintings 1967-1975,” features six early paintings, most of which have never before been exhibited. And they’re big, too. One of them stretches out nine feet wide.

In The Village Voice, Robert Shuster declared, “You won’t find a more stimulating work, sexual or visual, than ‘Bright Promise.'”

In an interview for W Magazine about the show, Julie L. Belcove asked Greenwold about his process. He replied, “One of the things that’s true of this early work that’s true now is that they took forever. This four-year painting [“Bright Promise (For Simon),” 1971-75], just the bedspread took me a year to paint. Millions of chenille balls. Somebody counted them, and there are 1,200 balls. Solidly for a year on those fucking balls … When you see the painting in the flesh, every ball is like a different face. That was pretty harrowing. I think I thought of myself more like a novelist, someone who works incrementally for years and years, chapter by chapter, piecing it together.”

And a review by Karen Rosenberg in The New York Times on Friday concluded, “The early works, most of which haven’t been shown before, look much more glib, but are haunting in their own way. Their overdesigned interiors and fastidious realism suggest deferred or displaced gratification. As Greenwold admits in a catalog interview with the critic Alexi Worth, ‘I was making the paintings while other people were having all the sex.'”

Mark Greenwold’s “Secret Storm: Paintings 1967-1975” will remain on exhibit at DC Moore Gallery in NYC through Saturday (April 17).

Mark Greenwold: Bright Promise (For Simon)
Mark Greenwold: Bright Promise (For Simon)

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