For the 2022 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by gallery artists Melissa Cody, Paul Feeley, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Howardena Pindell, Nicholas Krushenick, Richard Van Buren, and Emmi Whitehorse. The works of these multi-generational artists span decades—stretching from the minimalism of the 1960s and ’70s to the tactile and vivid post-minimalism of today.
In the early 1970s, Howardena Pindell (b. 1943) began spraying paint through hole-punched cardstock and manila folders, forming layers of vibrant dots across large-scale canvases. This technique resulted in staggering interplays between background and foreground—creating endless fluctuations in light and color. Pindell recently began revisiting this technique for the first time in over three decades. In a remarkable deviation from the rigorously abstract spray dot paintings that typified her early works, Pindell’s Untitled (Reflections) (2022) reimagines Claude Monet’s Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (ca. 1917–1920) located at Foundation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. Working on the same scale and within the same color palette, Pindell creates a unique contemporary expression of Monet’s own French Impressionism.
Richard Van Buren (b. 1937) has recently revisited and reconstructed works from the 1970s that were once lost. While influenced by the overarching minimalism of the 1960s, Van Buren never fully submitted to the sleek surfaces and unrelenting formalism that was typical of the movement. In his remade earlier works, such as Yangtze, Mahar, and Slate Mist (1969/2022), Van Buren works with relatively simple structures – they are analytical and restrained, yet sensuous and poetic. Within a short timeframe, Van Buren abandoned rectilinearity and began exploring the relationship between the natural world and its organic forms and man-made compositions of inorganic materials. In LIFE (1970/2021), Van Buren worked with polyester resin, fiberglass, and pigments to form biomorphic constructions. He altered the viscosity and opacity of resin, tempered pigments, and created layers of color and texture that seem like the result of some perplexing biological process.
To Paul Feeley (1910–1966), a shape was a living thing, a vehicle for an abstract thought-complex, a carrier of the awesome feelings he felt before the “terror of the unknowable.” Feeley’s paintings provoke a sense of the elemental chaos at the heart of the physics that organizes the world. Amorgos (1959) and Untitled (1958) quiver with energy. Commenting on Feeley’s work of the period, the critic Dore Ashton called the forms “great curving bottomless shapes like chemists’ retorts, or slithering, wasp-waisted forms embedded in blue ether.” Feeley’s works share elements with Color Field abstractions, but also a kinship to Abstract Expressionism and earlier Surrealist automatism. The painting’s archetypal shape—what Ashton referred to as “obscure symbolism”—forms on the canvas.
Nicholas Krushenick (1929–1999) distinct style straddles the lines between Op, Pop, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Color Field painting. In works like Silver Liner (1969) and Maxa Tawny (1970), Krushenick juxtaposes broad black lines with flat Liquitex colors, creating bold, energetic abstractions that combined the graphic clarity of Pop with nonfigurative shapes and forms. For Krushenick, this unclassifiable status was ideal, as he once remarked: “They don’t know where to place me. Like I’m out in left field all by myself. And that’s just where I want to stay.”
Fourth generation Navajo weaver Melissa Cody (b. 1983) weaves intricate tapestries often associated with the Germantown Revival, a stylistic movement named after the government wool from Germantown, Pennsylvania, that was supplied to the Navajo during the Long Walk, or the forced removal of Navajo peoples from their homelands by the US Army in 1864. This weaving style is characterized by a complex interaction of traditional and historical contingencies – notably using vivid commercial dyes for the first time, creating bold new textiles. Working on a traditional Navajo loom, in Untitled (2022), the artist combines elements of both traditional Navajo patterns and contemporary sharp geometries. Cody’s patterns separate along the vertical and horizontal lines of a grid—revealing the warps and wefts that comprise the work. Traditional pattern deteriorates into pixels—drawing attention to the medium’s commonalities with digital space, as well as the contemporaneity of the work’s maker.
Emmi Whitehorse (b. 1957), an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is influenced by the unique landscape of the Southwest and committed to seeking beauty and peace in her artistic practice, finding its origins in the Navajo philosophy Hózhó, which seeks to achieve a harmonious balance of life, mind, and body with nature. Her works, such as Sweven (#1602) (2022), often situate abstract, gestural marks—or “minor doodlings”—amidst vaporous fields of color. The intimate and intuitive nature of the artist’s organic forms are tethered to complex and constantly changing geographies and environments. “My paintings tell the story of knowing land over time—of being completely, microcosmically within a place,” says Whitehorse of her enigmatic compositions.
Cannupa Hanska Luger (b. 1979) is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, and European descent. Ghosted (2021), a blown glass buffalo head, exists in relation with his other buffalo works as reliquaries of Native histories and Indigenous autonomy. Ghosted remembers, although almost invisibly, the 19th century settler and soldier massacre of the buffalo. A bounty was put on buffalo – every dead buffalo symbolized a dead Indian – and every towering pyramid of buffalo skulls served as testament to settler might and conquest. The sculpture acknowledges the decimation of an environment and its species; yet its smooth, stylized contours are unmistakably synthetic, appearing almost like a futuristic digital rendering in a reimagined ancestral universe.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Melissa Cody, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Howardena Pindell, Richard Van Buren, and Emmi Whitehorse, as well as the estates of Paul Feeley and Nicholas Krushenick.