This is not the first time we have paired Scott Greene and Walter Robinson. This exhibition Herd Immunity, however, is certainly the most opportune. The term itself horrendously clinical and also brilliantly poetic in that the divide between the immune majority and the vulnerable minority is the very thing that protects them all. The idea of a divide runs strong through both artists’ practices. Practically, Scott is a painter and printmaker; Walter is a maker of objects. Scott paints a vision of nature’s relationship with people. Walter uses natural materials like leather and hand-harvested wood to look back on our planet’s humans. Both artists are obsessed with our collective yet divided domestic moment. Who has power and who does not? What do people do with power? Is it us versus them, or us versus us, or them versus them?
One of the major through-lines of history is the gradual enfranchisement of “We the People.” The fact that artists like Scott and Walter can paint and sculpt whatever they want is a testament to that. Their work is also a testament to this process of devolution still being at work right now. That we are living through a global pandemic feels undeniable, yet there are plenty of powerful people who are writing a separate history where numbers are not to be trusted, where demonstrable falsehoods are believed, and where a set of imagined and shared national truths do not exist.
It makes perfect sense that by painting and sculpting, Scott and Walter are making objects that are tangible and cannot be denied. There is no function of the herd where it emphatically states that the work of sculpture that everyone sees is somehow not real. Scott Greene’s painting “Deluge” is inspired by a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. Only now is this drawing realized as a great swirling mass of plastic and cast-off possessions in color: today’s version of a tempest. Walter Robinson’s hanging sculpture “Coronavirus” looks almost like a child’s toy, and, in fact, it glows in the dark! Their artwork is undeniably powerful, technically brilliant, and very, very real.
View works in the exhibition here.
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