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Catharine Clark Gallery: Scott Greene | Deep State
Media Room: Kevin Cooley | Fallen Water
- 6 June 2015 to 29 Aug 2015

Current Exhibition

6 June 2015 to 29 Aug 2015

Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA
CA 94103
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338

Scott Greene, Deep State, 2015
Oil on canvas on panel
60 x 84 inches

Artists in this exhibition: Scott Greene, Kevin Cooley

Scott Greene
Deep State

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Deep State, an exhibition of new work by Scott Greene, his fourth solo exhibition with Catharine Clark since 2004.  On view June 6 – August 22, 2015, Deep State features paintings and prints in which the notion of power appears as a deep and abiding thread.  A video project by Kevin Cooley titled Fallen Water (2015) will exhibit concurrently in our dedicated media room. Both artists will be present for the exhibition opening on Saturday, June 6, from 3–5 pm.

Deep State is Greene’s response to current social and environmental issues. The title refers to the belief in a state within a state, an influential alliance of corporations and institutions actively subverting our democratically elected government for profit and power.  Consistent with this undercurrent of influence, Greene’s affinity with Romanticism—a more personal and philosophic concept of Deep State—identifies his work within a tradition of narrative landscape, particularly American Sublime and the Hudson River School.  Greene’s latest work reflects a crossroads where both past and present meet, and a vision of a dystopian future where popular culture collides with politics, technology and the environment with tragic results.  Greene’s post-apocalyptic visions, however, are both sensuous and beautiful, as well as entertaining and humorous. The work seems to suggest that although life as we know it may radically shift, we can learn to adapt and make the best of a bad situation with whatever remains. Greene continues his exploration of the natural world punctuated by artificial constructs, but with a new emphasis on imagery of the American west. In Siren (2015), a tower of outdated speakers and woofers elevate an antique air raid siren. A tumbleweed, so large as to possess its own gravity, is suspended in the sky like a lunar body. This modern day Tower of Babel, balanced against the irrational symbol of a romanticized bygone Americana, suggests the futility of technological innovations to actually improve communication, and an inevitable path towards nostalgia, waste and obsolescence. In How You Like Me Now? (2015), a pant-less Mitt Romney surveys a ruined landscape atop a formal dressage horse. Greene taps into a long tradition of pomp and arrogance in the form of a triumphant equestrian, and lends a historical permanence to Romney’s short-lived Presidential aspirations. The rider seems oblivious that he may become an “Emperor’s New Clothes” story of power, while his horse defecates gold coins in the latest version of trickle-down economics. Greene acknowledges a deep romantic inspiration in his compulsion to create Trading Post, a twelve-foot tall painting of a cell phone tower disguised as a tree. Uprooted and leaning from the weight of what it holds, the sheer scale of this phony species serves to emphasize a feeling of precariousness, and invites the viewer to suspend their disbelief, and engage with the surreal.

In anticipation of Sandow Birk’s travelling exhibition and book release of the American Qur’an project, several of the final panels from that series will exhibit concurrently in our third gallery room.

Scott Greene: Scott Greene studied at California College of Arts before receiving his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, and his MFA from University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Adopting the language and finish of classical painting, Greene employs historical references as a tool to humorously examine the relationship between politics, nature and culture. His exhibition history includes shows at Austin Museum of Art, (Austin, Texas); Carlsbad Museum & Art Center (Carlsbad, New Mexico); Roswell Museum of Art, (Roswell, New Mexico); Albuquerque Museum, (Albuquerque, New Mexico); Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), the Schneider Art Museum, Southern Oregon University, (Ashland, Oregon); Palo Alto Art Center (Palo Alto, California); Triton Museum (Santa Clara, California); and the Arnot Museum of Art (Elmira, New York). Greene is the recipient of a Juror Selection Award, Lubbock Fine Arts Center, and an Art Matters Fellowship. He completed a residency at the Roswell Museum in New Mexico and has works in the public collections of the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell and the McKesson Corporation in San Francisco. Greene’s work is featured in Environmental Impact, a travelling exhibition that originated at the Canton Museum of Art, Ohio in 2013. Greene has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2003. 


Media Room:

Kevin Cooley | Fallen Water

Concurrently on view in our dedicated media room is a multi-channel video installation by the photographer and media artist Kevin Cooley.  This is the first exhibit of Cooley’s work by Catharine Clark Gallery.  Fallen Water is a visual exploration of waterfalls and waterways that feed the city of Los Angeles, California. 

Fallen Water explores questions about why humans are drawn to waterfalls and flowing water as a source for renewal.  Waterfalls imbue subconscious associations with pristine and healthy drinking water, but what happens when when the fountain can no longer renew itself? Is the water no longer pure?  Cooley’s choice of subject matter strikes a deep chord with current social consciousness and anxieties about contemporary water usage and the drought crisis faced by the American West.  Cooley references Blake’s famous quote from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell as context for the diametric opposites of the current water conundrum:  our deep sense of entitlement to and dire dependence on this precious commodity, coupled with a pervasive obliviousness concerning the sources which supply it.  As a way to connect with his personal water use, Cooley hiked into the mountains to see firsthand the snowpack (or lack thereof), streams, and aquifers which feed the water sources supplying his Los Angeles home.


Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
(Between 15th & 16th)
San Francisco, CA 94103

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