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Alexi Worth

Elliot Green's
Family Values


In the radiant, gelatinous theater of Elliott Green’s imagination, the sky is
often bright early morning blue. A sense of eagerness, of exuberant anticipation,
prevails. In one painting, an ocher personage bends forward at the
waist, performing a polite Japanese bow towards his bosomy neighbor, as if
to say Harakuju! Good Morning! Their encounter, like so many of the
social interactions in Green’s ostensibly abstract paintings, is tartly legible
as comedy. Ms. Bosom smiles and emits, from the tip of her décolletage, a
fluttering, handkerchief-like hand. A monologue, we see, is underway. In
response, Mr. Ocher’s brains leak slowly from the top of his head, forming
a little pinkish cloud, a veritable thought balloon, that drifts placidly in the
opposite direction.

          Like that braincloud, nearly everything in Green’s painting is in movement.
Typically, thanks to their hardy, taffy-like elasticity, Green’s creatures
appear to be stretching, falling, and extruding all at once. Greenville is, no
doubt, a crowded and precarious place. Like the brushstrokes that compose
them, the inhabitants seem to want to extend themselves, to grow or glide
in wayward directions. There are a few exceptional moments of stasis. In
one, a swollen, penguin-creature balances on a small hill, wearing what
might be some kind of fancy track suit. But the hillock turns out to be the
back of a prostrate colleague, and the penguin’s stature feels more precarious
than triumphant, more like the momentary uprightness of a carnival
target. Did I mention that he is wearing a toupee?

ALEXI WORTH is a New York painter who has writtn about art for Artforum, The New Yorker, and other magazines. He is reproesented by DC Moore Gallery, New York.

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Related article in The Sienese Shredder #3
Elliot Green - Paintings

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