The Unclassifiable Brilliance of Joanne Greenbaum

Featured image: mage © Joanne Greenbaum, “Untitled” (2024), oil, acrylic, flashe, and marker on canvas, 78 x 75 inches

Joanne Greenbaum began making ceramic sculpture in 2004, after enrolling in a ceramics class at Greenwich House in New York City. By working in the medium before other artists of her generation (she was born in 1953), she signaled her commitment to the handmade. Over the past two decades she has created two impressive bodies of work side by side, ceramic sculptures and abstract paintings, which she began exhibiting in New York in the mid-1990s.

Greenbaum started her painting and ceramic practices with basic forms (line and slabs and coils, respectively), and she has been building upon them ever since. Throughout this time, she has never become formulaic. She has produced several paintings on prepared canvases, used a wide range of colors, employed permanent materials, such as marker, and created clay sculptures, all in a single sitting. And yet none of her works feel like they were made rapidly.

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