Capitulare de vita
San Francisco, CA: Catharine Clark Gallery is pleased to present Scott Greene’s solo exhibition of new paintings, Capitulare de vita, in the main galleries, and Marina Zurkow’s video installation, Elixir Series, in the media room. The exhibition dates are July 10–August 21, 2010, and Greene will be present for the opening reception on Saturday, July 10, 5–7pm.
In his third solo exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery, Scott Greene explores the balance between the natural environment and artificial constructs. In an interview with Greene, he speaks of questioning the notion that the two are mutually exclusive, and that one could argue hat beauty in nature is a construct, and that all human activity no matter how artificial and deleterious to the environment, is natural in accordance with evolution. The exhibition’s title, Capitulare de vita, is derived from Capitulare de villis, an edict issued by Emperor Charlemagne in 812 regulating the administration of his crown estates, and including lists of herbs and trees that should be grown in every imperial garden. Replacing villis (home or garden) with vita (life), Capitulare de vita loosely translates to “capturing life, or an inventory of life.” Rife with his visual iconography—satellite dishes, trees, extension cords, sheep, oil barrels—Greene’s visual exploration is an inventory of the stuff of estates, of life in a corporatocracy, and of the flora and fauna in what remains of the ‘garden’.” In the painting titled Expulsion II, the satellite dishes serve as the “forbidden fruit” from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden by a flame- thrower. A symbol of technology and the exchange of information, Greene’s ubiquitous satellite dish is a timely reference to growing international censorship, and the general breakdown of meaningful and constructive communication.
Greene renders his eerily pastel ‘landscapes’ in luscious oil paints finishing them with a seductive varnish. His compositional approach for this body of work has shifted from referencing Renaissance perspective to an earlier, simplified compositional style associated with the proto-Renaissance. Greene’s shiny surfaces seem to also refer to the media’s finesse at glossing over the most difficult of subjects—cogent political events, such as the wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, the international economic collapse, and the unfolding environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. New to Greene’s repertoire are a series f small paintings—studies of plastic toys and Mylar balloons—on velvet. The exquisitely articulated forms rendered in a medium generally associated with kitsch, reveals a sly sense of humor present in much of his work. To this end, Greene states: “Comedy is tragedy averted, so I guess there’s something horrible about beauty as well.” In keeping with Greene’s pop-related imagery, the velvet paintings provide a compelling counterpoint to his more classical approach to painting.
Scott Greene began his art school education at the California College of Arts and Crafts in akland, California, receiving his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and his MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Adopting the language and finish of classical painting, Greene draws inspiration from both art history and the contemporary social environment to humorously examine the relationship between politics, nature, and culture. His ork has been included in exhibitions throughout the US and internationally, including non-profit and museum shows at Schneider Art Museum, Southern Oregon State University in shland, Oregon; Kohlar Art Center, Palo Alto Art Center in Palo Alto, California; Arnot Museum of Art in Elmira, New York; University of Virginia Art Museum, Virginia; The Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico; Austin Museum of Art in Texas; Carlsbad Museum & Art Center in New Mexico; and Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California. Selected four times for New American Paintings, he is a recipient of a Juror Selection Award from Lubbock Fine Arts Center, Texas, from Dave Hickey, an Art Matters Fellowship, and the Roswell Artist In Residency Fellowship. His work is represented in the public collections of the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell, New Mexico and the McKesson Corporation in San Francisco.
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