Bacterio Resist (YTG/ Drop Shadow) 48"x60", 2014
ModernDallas.net re-post of my article.
If you are like me, when you visit shows, you like to pick up a card. I have folders full of cards from past shows. Now and then I flip through them, make lists of artists, and I look some up on the internet that still interest me. In my recent browse through my collection, I came across the artist Nathan Green a few times. I noticed him, because I had just seen his work up at Barry Whistler Gallery during their One Night Stand show and at the Goss Michael Foundation.
I admit, it has taken me a while to come around to Nathan Green’s aesthetics. Last year, when I saw the show Fresh Tracks at UD Haggerty Gallery, I wrote, “... Nathan Green is kind of a conundrum. I am not quite sure what to make of his painting work. Green’s objects seem like clunky and awkward experiments, without some kind of refinement or resolution.” I was still skeptical when I saw Green’s curation of Failing Flat at CentralTrak. I was about halfway done with a less than flattering write-up on the show, when I found my heart wasn’t in it. Something was holding me back. I think my conundrum with Green was that I wasn’t completely seeing his big picture, and part of me knew it. A few cards of Circuit 12 Contemporary helped me to put Green in context. Circuit 12 Contemporary is one of the more unique galleries in Dallas, because they offer a Chicago aesthetic sensibility spiced with Miami energy. When I saw Green’s work during their Regional Quarterly Vol.1 CROSS TALK show, reflecting on the card and some past pictures I was reviewing, I now see it was a good fit for him. Green never attended the Chicago Art Institute, but I see a real kinship to some artists coming out of that school.
Because Green is experimenting in such a playful way, I was caught off guard and a little baffled by his intentions. I think he has tapped into this world where boundaries are blurred between forms. Painting and sculptures have continued to merge into a hybrid form and Green has been extremely nimble at navigating this trend. Because Green is exploring this hybrid world, pieces can feel raw, unfinished like his painting Droplets at the UT show. The work can feel damaged like Warm Skies SW at Barry Whistler Gallery. Green has even constructed and then destroyed an art piece as performance. Green has a series of Bacterio paintings and the Light-frame 410B painting at Goss Michael that captured my attention. I can relate to these organic shapes that feel like bodies twisting and intertwining in the Bacterio paintings. The objects colored bright green in wood frames make the hybrid object Light-frame 410B an enigma that doesn’t feel too highbrow to unravel. In the end, Nathan Green has taken me on a journey of self discovery regarding my own boundaries of aesthetics. Although I am just beginning to appreciate his work, I am confidently hopeful I will further enjoy watching Green develop as an artist.
images courtesy: barrywhistlergallery.com + nathangreenart.com