New York

Colin Greenly

Finch College Museum Of Art

Like Cutforth, Colin Greenly’s work is based on a simplistic, romantic conceptuality, and one which is made more disagreeable by pretentiousness. Greenly’s work is of unspecified medium, dimensions, and time duration. He calls it “intangible sculpture” which “neither inserts an object into a site, be it landscape or other physical source, nor is it represented by physical action taken on a site. Instead, the site becomes part of the total sculpture and the sculpture’s energy manifestation.” The work is much simpler than this, consisting of large photographs, usually landscapes, with black or white bars, usually horizontal, in the sky. These bars, abstract geometric elements, exist differently from the landscapes they inhabit and naturally affect them very much, setting up peculiar scale and spatial relationships. These changes are not uninteresting; it is possible to consider the difference made by these elements, the different kind of whole which results from their presence. But such considerations can be applied to most kinds of drawing and painting, and this doesn’t seem consistent with Greenly’s thinking. His thinking is involved with notions of site, energy and place which have appeared in the work of several other artists, among them Robert Irwin, Fred Sandback and Robert Smithson (to mention only a disparate, interesting few). In Greenly’s hands these ideas are used to justify doing very little; what is done exists on a usual, pictorial level. One wishes that Greenly had taken the space and energy at Finch and turned it into a “total sculpture.”

––Roberta Smith