Tony Greene: Room of Advances is a posthumous survey of works by the late Los Angeles-based artist, Tony Greene (19551990). Curated by artists Judie
Bamber and Monica Majoli, the exhibition assembles the largest collection of Greenes works since an exhibition at Los
Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in 1991, the year following the artists death from AIDS at age 35. Recent national
exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial 2014 and Made in L.A. 2014, upcoming at the Hammer Museum, have reestablished his oeuvre within the canon of queer art. Working at a time dominated
by conceptual and activist practices, Greene affirmed and interrogated the queer experience and homoerotic desire through
painting. The artist developed a visual language characterized by dark, jeweled tones and swirling impasto layered over tinted
photographs to create works at once sensual, provocative and haunting.
Intimate in scale, Greenes dreamlike paintings draw the viewer into the pictures depth. The title for the show,
Room of Advances, originates from a work comprised of 5 panels. The center panel is an image of a mans nude torso with arms outstretched,
flanked by a repeated image of a mid-century modern interior. The Schindler Housewith its history of utopianism made
manifest in actual domestic livingis ostensibly the modern domestic interior longed for in Greenes work. The interplay
between opacity and transparency, interior and exterior that infuses Greenes paintings is echoed in R.M. Schindlers
architecture and makes for a particularly felicitous pairing.
Curators Judie Bamber, Monica Majoli
About Tony Greene
Tony Greene studied in Los Angeles, receiving his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 1985 and his MFA from CalArts
in 1987, and continued to live and exhibit in L.A. through 1990. During this brief and artistically fertile period, he influenced
and was influenced by a significant group of artists who went on to shape contemporary art, including Catherine Opie, Richard
Hawkins, Lari Pittman and Nayland Blake. Although rarely on display in the past 20 years, Greenes paintings have lived
on in the homes of his intimates and artistic peers. His legacy as an artist, friend and personality has grown far beyond
the circle of artists who emerged in L.A. in the mid-1980s.
Unlike many gay artists who reacted to the AIDS epidemic by framing their work solely as activism, Greene was able to keep
that dire reality present while foregrounding passion as something ongoing and alive. Photographic images from physique pictorials,
natural history dioramas, and mens mouths from gay pornography act as a base for decorative arabesques and molded Rosicrucian
lettering. Layered with lapidary glazes, the paintings incorporate romanticized images that elicit desire viscerally, yet
remain encased in veils of paint, barricaded behind ornament and fleshy yarns of Rhoplex.
Tony Greene: Room of Advances is supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance and, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board
of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission
The MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, founded in 1994, is a contemporary, experimental, multi-disciplinary
center for art and architecture and is based today in three of the most important houses by the Austrian-American architect
Rudolph M. Schindler. The core of the programming includes the internationally sought-after MAK Artists and Architects-in-Residence Program, an annual residency program for emerging international artists and architects.