Critics’ Picks

A Message for the Odd Ball, 2003

New York

Joanne Greenbaum

D'Amelio Gallery
525 West 22nd Street
October 4–November 1

“Transparency” is a buzzword these days in the realm of corporate governance, but Joanne Greenbaum, in the realm of painting, doesn't just pay it lip service. In six very large abstractions at D'Amelio Terras, she introduces us to the nuances of her process, using thinned-out, translucent oil paint that registers every mark. You can trace each gesture, even when her forms are layered one atop the other—which they often are. Greenbaum’s compositions have lately acquired greater complexity and depth: Gemlike lozenges, punctured discs, lattices of boxlike cells, and curving lines pile up and proliferate across brightwhite canvases. Whereas her earlier paintings generally utilize two colors each, here she’s worked up polychrome schemes in which fluorescents battle it out against oddball tertiaries like murky turquoise and deep maroon. It's as if Helen Frankenthaler had decided to look to Marimekko, instead of nature, for inspiration.