Featured Acquisition: Elliott Green, “Seed-Water”


Elliott Green (b. 1960)

Seed-Water, 2016

Oil on canvas
60 x 36 inches
Signed and dated verso
Elliott Green was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960. He attended the University of Michigan, where he studied World literature and Art history. He moved to New York City in 1981 and has been making paintings ever since.

After spending a year in Rome in 2012, his work developed a new sense of space and landscape, characterized by panoramic, far-reaching vistas, and geophysical features like mountains, reservoirs and skies that seem to melt impossibly into pure gesture. In his recent work, the conventions of landscape are upended to produce a visual experience of equal parts gestural energy, emotion, memory, and metaphor.

The poet Jana Prikryl notes, “Elliott Green’s paintings appear to be in continuous motion, the way animals, plants, and ultimately rocks and mountains are in continuous motion, even when our human vision fails to apprehend it. Placing great thick gestures of paint amid minute intricacies and vice versa, his compositions demonstrate the movement of the universe on both the macro and the micro scales.”

In reviewing the Green’s work for Hyperallergic, the renowned poet and art critic John Yau writes “The sense of continual motion connects Green to Vincent van Gogh, which, if you think about it, is pretty amazing, especially since he does not replicate the Dutchman’s well-known repertoire of abstract marks. Another important difference is that van Gogh was methodical, while Green – a thoroughly American painter – is improvisational. He does not make a painting so much as find in it the process of layering (and removing) manifold forms, furls, and striations of luscious color. We do not see the sun in Green’s skies, but light radiates throughout.” 

Elliott Green has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Jules Guerin Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Residency, a The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, a residency at the BAU Institute, Cassis, France, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and three residencies at Yaddo.