Cultured Stone

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© Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery
Cultured Stone

103 Norfolk Street
10002 New York
April 29th, 2012 - June 3rd, 2012
Opening: April 29th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

east village/lower east side
(212) 967-2260
Mon-Sat 11-8; Sun 12-6


Thierry Goldberg Gallery is pleased to present “Cultured Stone,” Ethan Greenbaum’s first New York solo exhibition. The show will include a new series of low relief photographs and double-sided plexiglas prints.

Simulating sidewalks, ceiling tiles, bricks and wall paneling, Ethan Greenbaum’s work embraces materials that fulfill the minimum architectural requirement of framing space and covering surfaces. Drawing connections between the blunt materiality of his sources and the imaginative space of painting, Greenbaum creates uncanny transcriptions of commonplace urban construction.

The works often begin as digital photographs taken by the artist in his travels throughout the city. This prosaic imagery is then transcribed through various abstracting filters including digital editing, flatbed printing and vacuum forming. In his series of vacuum-formed photos of sidewalks, Greenbaum infiltrates the ubiquitous ground plane with unexpected strangeness and malleability. Actual size reproductions of sidewalk are printed on translucent plastic, which is then formed around broken ceiling tiles. The resulting low relief panels enact a series of inversions, where the outdoors is brought in, background becomes foreground and the horizontal plane becomes vertical.

In an untitled plexiglass diptych, Greenbaum again recasts the visual peripheries of the urban landscape. Derived from a composite photo of a rock wall outside the artist’s studio, the work is printed on a transparent acrylic panel. The mortar connecting the flagstones has been digitally deleted, and visible between the stones is a high-resolution scan of Formica patterning. This double-sided overlapping of textures paradoxically creates spatial illusions and depth between the layered flatness of the two surfaces. In these works and others, Greenbaum complicates how we perceive and relate to our built environment, carving out a space for creative possibility and perceptual shifts within areas typically discarded by the eye as immutable backgrounds or dead ends.

Ethan Greenbaum currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received an MFA in Painting from Yale School of Art. His work was recently included in Norfolk at Thierry Goldberg Gallery. Other recent exhibitions venues include Derek Eller, NY, Meulensteen, NY, Marlborough, NY, Gartenhaus Der Kunst, Munich, and Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Forthcoming projects include Found Outside, a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture at The Aldrich Museum, Connecticut.  Ethan is a co-editor of The Highlights, an online arts journal.