This is a virtual recording of the in-person/virtual artist talk we had with the South Arts 2021 Georgia Fellow Myra Greene.
The following is the bio of the artist as well as her artist statement:
Atlanta artist Myra Greene (b. 1975) is a New York City native. Her work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, and the Princeton University Art Museum. She has had 17 solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Among them were those at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, MA; Atlanta’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and Corvi-Mora gallery in London. Greene’s work has been in more than 50 group shows nationally and internationally. She holds a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and an MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Greene is the chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College in Atlanta.
“My work explores abstractions of race and the body. Engaging with textiles, the focus of my artistic practice is the manipulation of color and how our understanding of color is completely dependent on its context – materially, culturally and historically. By mimicking and evoking the color brown when printing and dyeing fabric, the resulting colors are reminiscent of my skin tone, creating a conceptual visualization of identity politics.
In Piecework, fabrics are systematically dyed their complementary color in order to create a smooth transition to brown. Inspired by traditional Dutch Wax patterns found on African textiles, I further silkscreen digitally stitched patterns onto the dyed fabric using metallic inks. Laden with cultural and historical references (triangles, for example, provide insight into my personal history as well as into movements in the diasporic slave trade), these works emphasize the power of hue and form and their ability to create an abstraction based in the illusion of space through color.
In Mixed, each piece is a composition of hand-dyed strips of fabric that fade from rich tones to brown. The final construction is a gradation that calls attention to the intricacies of each layer that creates the whole. The dyed textile is seductive in nature. In its lack of uniformity, it undulates, uncovering captivating textures on the surface of the work. The color brown is not a pure color, but a tone, a composite and a beautiful blend of complex information.”
See the artist talk below: