In the Galleries: Tony Greene

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com July 29 2014 5:14 PM ET

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
90024
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.
Tony Greene
Artificial Night
1988, Mixed media (oil on photo mounted on board). 22 ½ x 29 ¾ in. (57.15 x 75.6 cm). Eileen Harris Norton Collection. 

Tony Greene
Grain of His Skin
1987, Mixed media (oil on photo mounted on board). 13 x 15 in. (33 x 38.1 cm). Collection of Nayland Blake, New York.

Tony Greene
Untitled (U)
1989, Mixed media (oil on photo mounted on board). 28 ½ x 32 ½ in. (72.39 x 82.55 cm). Courtesy of Ray Morales, from the estate of Norm MacNeil.

Tony Greene
Untitled (JOE)
1990, Mixed media (oil on photo mounted on board). 19 ½ s 22 ½ in. (49.53 x 57.15 cm). Collection of Herbert Lotz.

Documentation of "Saints and Martyrs" performance by Ron Athey at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), November 1992.

Video still of Nailed, by Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose. Olio Theatre, Los Angeles, presented by Amok Books, October 1989.

Documentation of Chains of Bitter Illusion
April 1988, Documentation of Chains of Bitter Illusion, a collaborative mural by Tony Greene and Richard Hawkins at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). Collection of Richard Hawkins.

Documentation of Chains of Bitter Illusion
April 1988, Documentation of Chains of Bitter Illusion, a collaborative mural by Tony Greene and Richard Hawkins at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Collection of Richard Hawkins.

Millie Wilson
Daytona Death Angel
1994, Mixed-media sculpture. 2 x 2 x 5 ft. (0.6 x 0.6 x 1.5 m). Courtesy of the artist.

Tony Greene
Exhibition catalogue for Against Nature: A Show by Homosexual Men
1988, Exhibition catalogue for Against Nature: A Show by Homosexual Men, organized by Dennis Cooper and Richard Hawkins at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Cover art by Tony Greene.


Judie Bamber
Oh Come On, It Doesn’t Hurt That Much (Goldfish)
1989. Oil on canvas. 29 ¾ x 29 ¾ in. (75.57 x 75.57 cm). Collection of Peter Norton.

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