Denise Green combines Indian and Aboriginal philosophy with modernist technique, composing deeply personal works. Disembodied objects such as roses, fans and stone fragments hover in the center of her mixed-media paintings and works on paper. These objects are not meant to be read literally. They are extensions of the artist’s inner world, alluding to her experiences with loss and grief. Green has made an extensive study of the concept of metonymy, which she describes as the union of spiritual and material reality, as it is posited by Aboriginal culture in her native Australia. “Metonymic thinking implies for me the fusion of an inner spiritual and an outer material world. When an artist creates metonymically the artwork is seamless,” she says.
Green trained at New York’s Hunter College in the 1970s, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree. She studied under Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell and the influence of her teachers is evident in her use of color fields filled with recurrent motifs. Before that, she studied for a Baccalaureate at École des Beaux-arts at Université de Paris-Sorbonne in the 1960s.
Denise Green’s work is in public collections including those of The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Albertina Museum, Vienna; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Green first received public recognition through her participation in the Young American Artists: 1978 Exxon National Exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the New Image Painting show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1979. Since then her work has been exhibited in more than one hundred fifteen solo shows in the United States, Europe and Australia. In 2000, a retrospective of her work was launched at MoMA PS1 in New York and toured ten museums, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and the Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany.
Green is the author of Metonymy in Contemporary Art: A New Paradigm, 2005, and An Artist’s Odyssey, 2012, both published by the University of Minnesota Press and Macmillan Art Publishing in Australia. She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2007
Born in Melbourne, 1946 | Lives and works in New York
A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose….Rob, 2014, pencil, acrylic, and modeling paste on linen, three panels 2.7 x 8.9 feet/0.82 x 2.7 meters overall
© 2014 Denise Green/Artist Rights’ Society (ARS), New York