Glenn Goldberg

Glenn Goldberg - “Family and Friends” opens Friday, July 2 and runs through Sunday, August 1. There will be an opening reception Friday, July 2, 5pm-8pm.

For the better part of the past forty years, Goldberg has produced a body of work that is both vast and difficult to categorize. Goldberg’s approach to art making is like that of an athlete in training, a disciplined commitment imbuing each piece with a palpable, physical energy.

Goldberg is best known for his paintings and drawings. These much-loved pieces are complex, intricate works that cycle through a number of archetypal silhouettes. Dogs, ducks, flowers, doves, and people roam canvases in essential, almost symbolic form. Goldberg’s work pulls apart conversations about representation and abstraction, exposing the lack of nuance of this binary in fascinating ways. His paintings and drawings are definitionally representational, but much of their intrigue resides in the abstraction between simple meanings. For instance, a work might be of a “dog” covered in an elaborate veil of dotted patterning. Yet, in the way a word becomes a collection of sounds when repeated over and over, a viewer is quickly caught in the churn produced by color interactions and formal compositional relationships. The “dog,” with all its connotations, remains as the baseline of the picture, but its meaning flattens equally with the space around it and the formal qualities from which it is made.

Goldberg’s work finds associations with a wide range of artistic traditions. There is as much a shared visual language with Australian Aboriginal painting as with mass-produced baking molds of 1950s Americana. A trail of mark making flows through his work from such disparate sources as Himalayan fabric design to Flemish floral painting to the roaming beasts on the walls at Lascaux. Goldberg’s work embraces creation as a basic human need, whether such creation is found on the walls of a museum or scratched into a stone by our earliest ancestors.