Art In America

Joanne Greenbaum

at Rachel Uffner,
170 Suffolk Street

Joanne Greenbaum’s paintings deliver an in-your-face exuberance. It’s amazing that a longtime painter such as she can still find so many ways to create a sense of expansion in her canvases. Her techniques include a strategic use of color and contrast and a varied vocabulary of brushwork: curtains of drips, raw sketchy marks, sinuous curves, and a recurring iconic splotch of black with a red spot. This last motif is introduced by a one-foot-square painting in the entryway, where the black shape is thickly slathered on a washy candy-pink ground with a narrow citron border. In the larger works, the spotted splotches appear like signs stuck on the canvas, reasserting flatness and literal space.

These paintings thrive on a lack of resolution, always on the edge of falling apart because they privilege movement over stability. This has always been the case with Greenbaum’s work. However, in this show, the rhythms of the forms that roil through her mind emerge with more clarity in a display of abstract tabletop sculptures (in painted porcelain and cast aluminum, among other materials) that are both playful and resolved. —Cathy Lebowitz

Pictured: Joanne Greenbaum: Untitled, 2016, oil, acrylic, and marker on canvas, 12 by 12 inches. Courtesy Rachel Uffner, New York.

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