26 Temmuz 2012 Perşembe

Greg Decker

I am influenced by three main impulses, or strains, of painting. One is the bold, colorful, shape-oriented painting of (German) Expressionism, with its broad forms and adventurous composition; by early French (I would call it Classical) modernism of Picasso's Blue/Rose paintings; lastly by the classical realism of Renaissance painting. I really think of painterly form in sculptural terms, and how to embody that through color and light.

In terms of content, I am a narrative painter. Even a still-life or landscape is embedded in story. I do seem my figures as characters in an on-going theater. I tend to be attracted to themes of action and work. The stories that I paint are culled  from what I see around me (people carrying things, walking, running), from stories and myths, and from my "inner heritage" of art history. As a child I was entranced by biblical stories. I am most interested in mythology, especially Western mythology, and sometimes I grapple with distinct myths (Europa, Leda and the Swan, the Minotaur myths, etc.); often these myths inform more personal stories which are in my blood.

Advertisements have messages. Paintings have meanings, embedded within the form.  Last week I was in the library, and saw the librarian carrying a vertical stack of books, nearly staggering under the weight of the burden. I began to think about that in symbolic terms: the weight of liberating books. Later I made a small oil sketch, which is still in my studio, sleeping perhaps. One day it may re-awaken and stumble into a huge painting with its new burden, transformed into a powerful, patterned figure. May be man or woman, may never awaken.

In terms of patterning: I am blessedly guilty of loving pattern, an unstoppable tendency in all culture(s); some I believe is imbibed from Gustav Klimt, much I am certain comes from the vivid African fabric patterning I saw for much of my childhood, having grown up in Africa (Belgian Congo).

In terms of color: I love color which is bold, but not acidic, bright and intimate. My palette is a simple, mostly Mediterranean palette (warmish), chromatic but, like all good things, rooted in brown.

In terms of form: I am a tonal and chromatic painter, shape-oriented rather than linear. I begin my paintings on a (generally warm-toned) rather dark surface, beginning with lights, then moving to darks. I work fairly "openly", broadly, energetically; but I work the painting in stages, allowing it to awaken on its own terms. For me, control is freedom; technical mastery is essential to great form.

Professional painter currently living outside of Asheville NC.

Teaching experience in New York City for twelve years.

Prolific in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture.


Born in 1952; Educated Overseas; fluent in French; teaching experience with
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA NYC  1992-2000

Holds two Master of Fine Arts Degrees; study at Oxford University (drawing)  2003

Study w/ Daniel Libeskind/ Vincent Desiderio/ Martha Erlebacher

Emerging Artist, Arts & Antiques 2002 / paintings reviewed Art Matters  2005

Two extended Fellowships The MacDowell Colony NH  1990/1992


Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY  2007

New York Academy of Art Alumni Exhibition, New York, NY 2007

“Myth and Meaning” Solo Exhibition, Belmont University, Nashville, TN 2006

Alan LeQuire Gallery, Nashville, TN 2005

Gallery Timothy Tew, Atlanta, GA 2001/2002

Perry-Nicole Gallery, Memphis, TN 2002

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Nashville, TN 2001

The Painting Center, New York, NY 1998

Jack Tilton Gallery, NYC Group Exhibition New York, NY 1995


Master of Fine Arts      The New York Academy of Art           New York, NY            2003

Master of Fine Arts      Cranbrook Academy of Art                  Bloomfield Hills, MI      1980

Bachelor of Fine Arts    The Minneapolis Institute of Art            Minneapolis, MN         1975

Teaching Experience

Visual Teaching Artist   Lincoln Center Institute New York, NY  1992-98

Visual Teaching Artist   MoMA / Metropolitan Museum of Art  NYC   1992-98

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