TABLE OF CONTENTS

LITTLE R. G. IN A PROSPECT OF FLOWERS

ROBERT GREENE'S PAINTINGS ARE so unapologetically dedicated to pleasure that it is easy to underestimate them. But art doesn’t have to look important in order to be serious. There is nothing wrong, as Claude Debussy once remarked, with a little charm. It is worth a long second look at Greene’s beach scenes out of Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini and his langorous, visionary fêtes galantes.

The beach scenes, with their tidy rows of pastel cabanas, bathing machines, and backdrops of vague, palatial structures, look like nostalgic evocations of pre-1914 Europe, until one notices certain disconcerting incongruities. Yes, there are two women walking by the sea carrying parasols and wearing heavy, Edwardian dress, but just behind them is an ultra-chic black woman wearing a canary yellow sheath dress, while another woman is alluringly naked except for a pair of bright red high heels, and in

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.