Jesse Greenberg - 'Face Scan' @ Derek Eller, NYC

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Jesse Greenberg - 'Face Scan' @ Derek Eller, NYC

Postby CAP » Sun May 31, 2015 11:48 am

APRIL 30 - MAY 30, 2015

I suppose we can rope the artist in with the recent Zombie Formalism muster although he strikes me as a lot more exciting than fellow travellers like Oscar Murillo, Jacob Kassay or Parker Ito, or those from a similar age bracket included in MoMA’s recent survey of current painting, The Forever Now. In stark contrast - this show rocks! The aptly named Greenberg does not so much dabble in abstraction along with installation, video, performance and much else as straddle the old 2-D/3-D divide, where painting turns into sculpture turns into painting, recalling 60s-70s work by Americans for Americans, but actually going back to the very basis for abstract sculpture from the 20s and 30s in Europe. We’ll skip the art history though.

Greenberg bundles his borderline tendencies with oscillation between organic and geometric imagery, the solid and fluid in works cast in pigmented urethane resin. It sounds toxic, but health and safety issues apart, the results are compelling - Body Scan 2 (2015) and Body Scan 3 (2015) with their hints of circuitry or notation, worn or degraded or all of the above, in a lurid palette. I thought the more 2-D works the stronger, so I’m classing him as a painter but there are more frankly sculptural works that bring a fascinating tactile quality to broken or separated volumes, to an icky stringiness or gooiness. And earlier work inclines toward installation and participation, so there are options there.

A review by Andrew Russeth for the NY Observer of last year’s show at Eller detected a west coast Finish-Fetish feel to the materials – all those slick, glossy surfaces and emphasis on non-organic chemistry. I’ve no idea of Greenberg’s origins (studied at Rhode Island before completing a Masters at Columbia in 2011) but there is a strand to east coast Minimalism in the 70s that also plays with pigment cocktails in resins and foams in Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and even Linda Benglis (who never quite gets the credit here because of emphasis on her feminism). In any case Greenberg seems to have found his own territory and seepage, containment and slickness may prove an irresistible metaphor for the New York art scene shortly, if not a wider world. The stuff is not hard to get - here’s Blake Gopnik’s take as proof. :twisted:

The artist's website is here.
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