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Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake

January 14 – February 13, 2021
 

Harper's Apartment
51 East 74th Street, Apt. 2X
New York, NY 10021

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Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - Harper's Apartment

Harper’s is pleased to announce the representation of Brooklyn-based artist Eliot Greenwald and his solo exhibition of thirteen new oil stick paintings, Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake, at Harper’s Apartment in New York City. The gallery is open to the public Thursday through Saturday, 12–6pm; no appointment is necessary to visit.

“A riverboat, by definition, is a vessel intended for river use. A river boat on a lake is a vessel in the wrong environment; however, just by simply being a boat it will work, survive, maybe even thrive. The difference in environment, in fact, offers more freedom to the vessel.”

Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake is a thought experiment in redirecting the contemporary favor for figurative art beyond the expected linear path. Channeling the rebellious spirit of the Dadaists and neo-Dadaists who rejected the logic and aesthetics of their times, Greenwald’s vernacular is condensed and refined to go against the grain of the conventional visual idioms of landscape painting. Vibrant and simple in composition, each piece invariably depicts a car in the night, beaming its headlights through strange and vacant valleys that gently glow underneath ever-present twin planets. The “night car” perpetually moves away from the horizon, towards the viewer, illuminating the road as it rapidly approaches the edge of the canvas. This mysterious but familiar narrative captures the infinite polarities of perspective by supplanting both “self” and “other” in place of the car—a vacillating and contradictory viewing experience, like quantum superposition, that confronts the very idea of one’s existence and reality.

"Is 'Snake Lake' a lake filled with snakes? Is 'snake lake' just another name for a river? Is it a lake that once had a legendary snake experience that no one can really trace the origin of? Is it just satisfying to rhyme two words?”

Rippling out from the oil stick gestures on each surface, the undulating shapes of Greenwald’s canvases allude to a rectangle, as if it were a shape once held. Knobbly and beveled, the edges of each piece lend an object-like quality to the paintings that further implies a sense of passed time. In stark contrast with the fresh and highly saturated marks that feel impressionistic at times, these pseudo-ancient forms remind the viewer to consider time as an element outside of its linear perception.

The specific vehicle is more or less irrelevant; however, the repetition of the motif as a mantra grounds the otherwise obscure notions presented in Greenwald’s deceptively simple compositions. A particularly apophenic viewer might interpret the patterns within each painting as an invitation to become a passenger in their own fractal dimension ∞

Thumb-Show

Thumb-Show Thumbnails
Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (expansive taste)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (expansive taste)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (the trickster between 2 farms)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (the trickster between 2 farms)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
47h x 61w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (wave)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (wave)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (a vacuum in space)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (a vacuum in space)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (beach fire)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (beach fire)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (ear here)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (ear here)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (takin' the riverboat out on snake lake)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (takin' the riverboat out on snake lake)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (superposition)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (superposition)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (slide guitar)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (slide guitar)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
36h x 26w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (electric organ)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (electric organ)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
36h x 26w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (seasonal figure 4)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (seasonal figure 4)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (abridged)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (abridged)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (seasonal figure 3)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (seasonal figure 3)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (expansive taste)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (expansive taste)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (the trickster between 2 farms)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (the trickster between 2 farms)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
47h x 61w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (wave)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (wave)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (a vacuum in space)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (a vacuum in space)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (beach fire)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (beach fire)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (ear here)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (ear here)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (takin' the riverboat out on snake lake)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (takin' the riverboat out on snake lake)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (superposition)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (superposition)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
48h x 43w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (slide guitar)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (slide guitar)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
36h x 26w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (electric organ)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (electric organ)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
36h x 26w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (seasonal figure 4)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (seasonal figure 4)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (abridged)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (abridged)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (seasonal figure 3)

Eliot Greenwald
Night Car (seasonal figure 3)
2020
Oil stick on canvas
12.50h x 10w in

Slide-Show

Slide-Show Thumbnails
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake - installation view
Sasha Bogojev, "Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake: Eliot Greenwald @ Harper's Books, NYC," Juxtapoz, January 27, 2021

REVIEW
by Sasha Bogojev for Juxtapoz

"'Time also helps us quantify how painting, as an expression, reforms,'" the artist continues explaining the conceptual aspect of this mystifying feature of his works. 'From the vague shape of a cave wall, to the rigidity of the classical, to the morphings of the contemporary. My canvas shapes are representative of times beat and what that rhythm does to an object or idea.'" 

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Eliot Greenwald (b. 1983, Portland, ME) is a self-taught artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Selected exhibitions include: 12 Artists, Harper’s, New York (2020); Night Car, Hesse Flatow, New York, (2020); Big Bang, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, New York (2020); PAREIDOLIA, Emmanuel Barbault Gallery, New York (2020); Summer Heat, Ortega y Gasset, Brooklyn, NY (2018); and Year Zero, Cunsthaus/Tempus Projects, Tampa, FL (2018). Greenwald’s work has been featured in various publications including ARTnews, Hyperallergic, and Juxtapoz.