By Mary Heilman, Bomb Magazine
I first visited Joanne Greenbaum's studio about ten years ago because Cady Noland told me that I might like her work. I was already a major fan of Cady; her installations inspired me. I knew what she was about. Where Cady eyed the shabby, lower ends of society and found a sharp American family narrative in such things as discarded beer cans, hospital apparatus or construction site gear, Joanne seemed to be remembering the atmosphere of a festive female experience of the 60s. She created paintings that floated bright-colored floral arabesques or bordered clear white spaces with curtain-like symmetrical curves. These baroque or carnivalesque motifs reminded me of the magical Edwardian style that was the 60s of Donovan, Nick Drake, flower power, Papagallo shoes, Marimekko dresses, Correges boots, the toodle of renaissance commedia del arte pipes.
JOANNE GREENBAUM AT D'AMELIO TERRAS
By Lyle Rexer
Published in Art in America, January 2002.Joanne Greenbaum's art is one of maximum attention and maximum risk, disguised as an obsessive game. It is loaded with analogies, historical references and, most importantly, lessons of the hand. In these large, cartoonlike abstractions, there is an entire primer on the gambles and rewards of painting.
The seven works in this, her third solo exhibition at D'Amelio Terras, meet head-on the challenge of the large canvas. Each one presents an elaborate, imprecise construction, with a particular character, generated out of distinct color and formal relationships. "that's the pre-Columbian copper necklace," you might say, or "that's the one that looks like a kid's toy." Built on a white ground from flat simple elements - rectangle, circle, line, cube - the compositions are amazingly dynamic, shifting from cartoon outline into three-dimensional recessions, and back to what look like network diagrams. In most of the paintings, gesture has been banished, but every now and then there is a whorl, a Frank Stella pattern inside a square, a deep organic blob with a hole in it, or the swipe of a brush. Just right.