WAP: Myra Greene
11am - 5pm
2018/2019 Working Artist Project
This round of Working Artist Project was curated by Allison Glenn, the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Myra Greene utilizes fabric, dye, silk screening, and sewing to further explore representations of race and the body. At the center of Greene’s practice is a consideration of how our understanding of color is completely dependent on context—materially, culturally, and historically. INTERVAL presents two bodies of work, Piecework, and Mixed that explore our relationship to, and interpretation of, color, race, and identity. The exhibition specifically considers the semblance of brown and how it can be produced when dyeing fabric. Creating a personal language of abstraction, Greene utilizes different techniques to transform fabric into this rich tone which is reminiscent of the artist’s skin.
Piecework examines black experience through material compositions. Laden with cultural and historical references, these works emphasize the power of color and shape, and their ability to create an abstraction based in illusion. The term “piecework” refers to the practice of putting scraps of fabric together, as such, triangular pieces of fabric are sewn bringing with it a new and complex form. First Greene dyes fabrics their complementary color to create a smooth transition from that color to brown. Inspired by traditional Dutch Wax patterns found on African textiles, Greene then silk-screens her own original patterns onto the dyed fabric using metallic inks which creates a spatial interplay.
Mixed, represents Greene’s most recent series of textile works. Referencing blackness without the body, each piece is a composition of hand-dyed strips of fabric that fade from rich tones of red, green, and blue to brown. Visualizing the complexities of the layers that create a whole the dye, like the color, is not uniform causing undulating, captivating textures on the surface of each piece. These works highlight the seductive nature of color and address that brown is not a pure color, but merely a tone, a composite, and a beautiful hybrid of information.
About Myra Greene
Greene is currently working on a new body of work that uses African textiles as a material and pattern to explore her own relationship to culture. She received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography and has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse New York and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work is in the permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, and the Princeton University Art Museum. Myra Greene’s work has been featured nationally in exhibitions, in both galleries and museums including The New York Public Library, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Williams College Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta, Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, and Sculpture Center in New York City. Myra Greene was born in New York City and received her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico. She currently resides in Atlanta Georgia, where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Spelman College.
Featured image of new work by Myra Greene, image courtesy of the artist.