San Francisco

Gregg Renfrow

Grapestake Gallery

Gregg Renfrow’s latest painting and his previous work exemplify a dialectic of style articulated by Ortega y Gassett as “ . . . artistic form, on reaching its maximum, is likely to topple over into its opposite” (The Dehumanization of Art, 1956, p. 27). In the years since Renfrow participated in the 1975 Biennial of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, this San Francisco artist has been recognized for the unusual form of his reliefs. Their unique process of facture is fundamental to the effect: polymer paint is poured and brushed onto a surface (often a rough wooden floor), peeled off when set, cut and shaped, composed on fibermesh backing, and assembled as interlocking rectangles. The resulting surfaces occasionally show traces of floorboards, suggesting a reference to urban decay, but to a greater degree they act as self-contained process pieces exploring interplay between coarsely

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