Los Angeles

Lowell Greenough

Galerie deVille

Combining the spirit of Leger’s “art mechanique” with the compulsive for­mal clarity and minute detail of the surrealists, Greenough tightly models crystalline shapes and warm tapestry-like colors into remarkable fantasies, the contexts of which are surprising and, perhaps, Freudian. Occasionally, his gaudy brilliant yellows, reds and blues are vulgar, but when they work, they are exquisite in the Grand man­ner. Greenough’s large major opus, entitled The Klansmen, is made up of vibrant, ephemeral, flame-like shapes which melt into one another. Composed around a monumental triangular struc­ture, the whole of Klansmen is en­veloped in an electrical dynamic of burning intensity; its imagery is bi­zarre; there are literal renderings of a noose, cross, eyes, hands, hoodpeaks, etc.; yet, the pictorial impact of this lynching mob is (perhaps intentionally) ironically joyous, like some Pagan of­fering to a Sun-God. If Klansmen never transcends illustration, it is be­cause of the inherent nature of propa­ganda pictures. Greenough has under­taken a vast, pretentious task unpretentiously, and has succeeded in making a picture with built-in subject-content difficulties come off exceedingly well.

––Arthur Secunda