In the Galleries: Tony Greene

An exhibit of Tony Greene's dark luxurious art from the '80s made before his death in 1990 from AIDS is supported by relevant work by L.A. queer artists from that period.



Between roughly 1987 and his death in 1990, Tony Greene (born 1955) produced a body of lavishly intricate paintings using oil and glaze applied in thick layers that both protect and conceal a photographic image, often of a vintage male pinup. Luxuriously decadent visual objects, Greene’s paintings were a conscientious departure from the position of many peers, who responded to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic with better- known activist and conceptual strategies.

Since his death from complications of AIDS in 1990, Greene’s work has gone largely unrecognized. This year marks the first time his work has been exhibited since 1995.

"Amid Voluptuous Calm" revive's Greene’s work, and sets it in the context of its time with other queer artists in Los Angeles. This concise “show-within-a-show” only hints at the numerous ways visual art, poetry, activism, performance, and S/M converged, and how notions of queerness — a term just making its way into the lexicon — informed artistic production for a community of artists.

Featuring projects by Greene, Ron Athey, Judie Bamber, Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose, Doug Hammett, Doug Ischar, Monica Majoli, Millie Wilson, and the zine Infected Faggot Perspectives (produced by W. Wayne Karr and Cory Roberts-Auli), alongside documents and ephemera, the conceptual and aesthetic approaches presented are diverse.

There will be panel discussion July 29, 7:30-9:30 p.m. about Tony Greene moderated by David Frantz, curator at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles. This discussion titled "His Broken Lines" explores Greene’s work, the politics of queer art production in L.A. during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the stakes related to queer curatorial and artistic practice. More info about the panel discussion here. This show within a show is part of the Hammer's biennial exhibition "Made in L.A. 2014".

Tony Greene: Amid Voluptuous Calm
Organized by David Frantz, curator at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Tony Greene
Amid Voluptuous Calm
c. 1988, Mixed media (oil on photo mounted on board). 13 x 15 in. (33 x 38.1 cm). Collection of Jody Zellen, Los Angeles.