Mark Greenwold: Interview

Mark Greenwold Desire, 2013, oil on linen mounted on board, 12 x 13 inches (Priv
Mark Greenwold Desire, 2013, oil on linen mounted on board, 12 x 13 inches (Private Collection, courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater)

Jennifer Samet interviews painter Mark Greenwold about his work and career.

Greenwold remarks: "Painting need not just be about big yellow expanses of canvas. If Rothko wanted people to cry in front of his paintings, as if they were looking at Auschwitz or Buchenwald, he had to tell them. He is a great painter, but you cannot convey, with pure abstraction, the same kinds of things you can convey with representation. I’m not saying you can’t have sorrow and pity in abstract paintings, but it is a different sorrow and pity, conveyed differently... There is contempt in the art world for craft, and how to make things. We talk about 'de-skilling,' and 'post-studio,' and artists who make nothing, or have assistants making everything for them. The valorization of quickness, spontaneity, and the so-called 'found,' while considering something made over a long time being fussy, overworked, and overly determined, is total bullshit. Writers don’t believe that. Why should visual artists believe that? I’m sure van Eyck didn’t believe that, and Vermeer didn’t believe that. Chardin didn’t believe it, and Ingres didn’t believe it."