Lora Schlesinger Gallery is proud to present Mantras & Musings, Mark Steven Greenfield’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens with an artist’s reception, Saturday September 9, from 5 – 7 pm and is on view through October 14, 2017.
Mark Steven Greenfield’s work is an ongoing exploration of the complexity of the African American experience. Mantras & Musings features intensive, contemplative drawings intuitively constructed with shapes and marks, akin to automatic writing or a meditative scrawl. Creating an interplay between positive and negative space, the work is a form of psychological mapping consciously manipulating and re-contextualizing imagery that promotes racist stereotypes. Lingering in the subconscious like shadows, Greenfield removes the stigma of the original source by introducing text and abstracted elements. Inspired by a recent artist residency in Brazil, the Egungun series addresses the duality of life. In Yoruba culture, the Egun are the spirits of the departed ancestors, who pass on knowledge to their progeny. While they are powerful, they can also have a strong negative energy and they manifest themselves in the form of blessings and curses. Behind the Egungun, geometric and calligraphic lines are arranged in patterns subtly alluding to the thorns present among seemingly soft cotton fields. Greenfield’s imagery combines opposing realities, creating a dichotomous world that accurately defines the complexity of life and the African American experience.
Mark Steven Greenfield has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, most notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art and the California African American Museum. Internationally he has exhibited in Japan, Thailand, Italy, and South Korea. He is the recipient of the the Sacatar Foundation Artist Residency on the island of Itaparica, Brazil in 2013, the California Community Foundation Artist Fellowship in 2012 and the City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship in 2012. He received his Masters in Fine Arts from California State University Los Angeles in 1987, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in arts education from California State University Long Beach in 1973.