Greenwold takes us down the rabbit hole into that place where fear and trembling preside.
In Mark Greenwold’s pencil drawing “Josie” (2015), at least three people and an oversized cat are gathered in a room under what looks like a skylight. A bespectacled man on the drawing’s right-hand side is wearing boxer shorts and a t-shirt, his erect penis poking through his shorts.
I was surprised when Mark Greenwold gave me his address, because it was, like my own apartment, in “upstate Manhattan,” a far remove from the center of the art world.
The great iconoclastic painter Peter Saul, for the first time ever, has turned his hand to curating, gathering together nearly two dozen kindred spirits for a show that revels, as to be expected, in the libidinous and the ravenous, the stunted and the scared, the blinkered and the grotesque — that is to say, humanity. The effect, as to be expected, is sublime.
Ever since Mark Greenwold first began exhibiting in 1979, a lot of gibberish has been written about his highly detailed, modestly scaled oil paintings of disquieting domestic situations. One critic, willfully forgetting that there is a difference between fact and fiction, viciously attacked his first solo exhibition — it was comprised of a single large oil painting, “Sewing Room (for Barbara)” (1979) — because the artist depicted a man who resembled himself murdering a woman that looked liked his wife. What would this same critic have made of the six-year-old James’ sudden murderous fantasy about his father in Virginia Woolf’s novel, To The Lighthouse (1927)? I doubt she would have excoriated Woolf. Denouncing Greenwold was easy — he was unknown at the time.