artworldOut and About
Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Killer Opening For “Murdering The World,” Mark Greenwold’s Long-Awaited Debut at Sperone Westwater


Out and About with artcritical
Mark Greenwold: Murdering the World, Paintings and Drawing 2007-2013 at Sperone Westwater

Photographs by Robin Siegel, Installation shots by Allyson Shea, Report by David Cohen
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Installation shot, Mark Greenwold: Murdering the World, Paintings and Drawing 2007-2013 at Sperone Westwater, May 10 to June 28, 2013

Installation shot, Mark Greenwold: Murdering the World, Paintings and Drawing 2007-2013 at Sperone Westwater, May 10 to June 28, 2013

A Mark Greenwold show is hardly less rare than a new painting from this OCD master of minutiae:  to give the fellow a normal-sized show you pretty much need to stage a mini-survey.  That’s what his new dealers,  Sperone Westwater, have done for the veteran fantasy realist on the third floor of their Norman Foster-designed railroad gallery on the Bowery, in a show that takes its title from a line of Stanley Cavell’s hand-inscribed at its entrance: “The cause of tragedy is that we would rather murder the world than permit it to expose us to change.”

His admirers were out in force the Friday night of Frieze weekend, including a number of sitters in his bizarre psycho-dramas.  Amongst the latter category were Chuck Close and James Siena who besides their visages and birthday suits also contribute to Greenwold’s visual vocabulary in the form of their trademark pictorial marks – Close’s lozenges, Siena’s algorithmic zags – that the artist uses as kind of thought bubbles hovering over his dramatis personae’s heads.

In his New York Sun review of Greenwold’s last survey, at DC Moore Gallery in the Fall of 2007, artcritical editor David Cohen wrote in terms that still apply that “Mr. Greenwold revels in capturing each hair on a dog, or each thread in a carpet, with a nutty regard for exactitude

Like psychoanalysis, around which these strange dramas revolve, Mr. Greenwold’s painting mode supposes that no detail is to be ignored and that time is no object. Psychoanalysis is the key — if not to decoding these bizarre, narcissistic soul dramas, then at least to understanding the strange genre in which they occur. For Mr. Greenwold’s pictures occupy an ambiguous space nestled between allegory and narrative. Each of the figures feels highly isolated, and yet each one plays a function in relation to the action unfolding around them all.

On view at 257 Bowery between Houston and Stanton streets, New York City, 212.999.7337 through June 28, 2013

Mark Greenwold and Chuck Close.  Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Mark Greenwold and Chuck Close. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Mark Greenwold, center, with Peter and Sally Saul.  Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Mark Greenwold, center, with Peter and Sally Saul. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

James Siena, Jim Torok, Alexi Worth.  Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

James Siena, Jim Torok, Alexi Worth. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Jim Torok, Elena Sisto, Mary Jo Vath.  Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Jim Torok, Elena Sisto, Mary Jo Vath. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Courtesy of Sperone Westwater.  Photo: Allyson Shea

Courtesy of Sperone Westwater. Photo: Allyson Shea

David Cohen.  Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

David Cohen. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

Paul Simon, Matthieu Salvaing, Chuck Close. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Rackstraw Downes with Mark Greenwold's Human Happiness, 2008-09, Courtesy of Sperone Westwater. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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David Carbone and JoAnne Carson. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Paul Simon and David Leiber. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Sanford Schwartz and Carole Obedin. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Charley Friedman and Joan Linder. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Oriane Stender and Jerry Saltz. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Jack Barth and Phong Bui. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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David Cohen and Marshall Price. Photo: Robin Siegel (c) 2013

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Courtesy of Sperone Westwater.  Photo: Allyson Shea

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One Response to Killer Opening For “Murdering The World,” Mark Greenwold’s Long-Awaited Debut at Sperone Westwater

  1. monique knowlton says:

    The son of a good friend of mine,Alexander Milliken works for you ?
    I admire you gallery and your choices.
    Owning Alex Katz drawings and prints and a fabulous Cindy Sherman,I am looking forward to
    being on your mailing list.
    Thanks
    Monique Knowlton

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