Artwork Description

Scott Greene – Deluge

Dimensions: 84 x 60″
Year: 2017
Media: oil on canvas over panel

Scott Greene’s masterpiece Deluge was inspired by a conté drawing by Leonardo da Vinci that depicts an aerial view of patches of land inundated by a storm of biblical proportions. Details gradually emerge within a controlled and cinematic study of atmospheric effects, movement, destruction, and chaos. The work is about the power of nature as well as the loss of control over our waste. Harkening back to the awe and destruction of old master paintings of the sublime, Deluge holds up a mirror inviting us to reflect on the fact that our actions have consequences.

In Deluge, Scott Greene combines the organic and the man-made in a visually complex painting replete with the flotsam and jetsam caught in the dynamic water flow. Greene suggests that natural and human invoked disasters, resulting in material and often consequential effects for the environment, are not mutually exclusive.

Scott Greene’s work is not associated with a definitive period, but instead, works to integrate art historical and classical elements into a more contemporary approach. Greene’s work functions as a form of socio-political commentary and “uses the composition of historical work as a matrix for making a painting that humorously examines the relationship between politics, nature, and culture.” Greene draws on themes such as beauty, popular culture, and the natural environment in an additive artistic process that emphasizes the visual and temporal effects of building rather than executing work in a single instance. After studying in California and receiving his BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, Greene moved to New Mexico, where he received his MFA in painting and has since lived for almost 30 years. Greene’s work derives much of its influence from this matrix, where the artist describes that “the expansive space, vivid light and western frame of reference informs the narrative content in my work, and the alien beauty of high desert skies serve as backdrops for many compositions.” Greene also touches on the complex interplay between beauty and environmental exploitation within his oeuvre—an issue he sees as being both pertinent to and prevalent within New Mexico, today.

Scott Greene is heralded as one of the most talented painters in the United States. His works are already featured in numerous museum collections and have been the subject of several solo museum exhibitions across the U.S.

Art critic Wesley Pulkka writes of Scott Greene’s “Deluge”:

“Albuquerque master painter Scott Greene(s) …impeccably executed (paintings) chronicle our descent into the morass obsolescence endemic to a consumer-based economy. Greene is a truth-telling environmentalist who (to paraphrase Bob Dylan) can paint the rubber off the tire and scare the bird off the wire.

by Keira Seidenberg, Art History/Gender Studies student, McGill University