Joanne Greenbaum’s paintings are playful, light and approach abstraction with a sense of freedom. Like many of the painters that I admire there is a sense that Greenbaum works in a fluid way, that she’s not bound by convention rather her work is open to possibility during the very act of creation.
Her work is undoubtedly graphic, much of her motifs hinting towards topographic landscapes, satellite images drawn, mapped out with bold shapes and colours and then dissected, obliterated, one layer on top of another. Infact a number of her paintings look as if the motifs should be on separate planes, as if they’re random ideas piled ontop of one another, their only connection being that they exist on the same canvas or board. In short, they jar. But as art critic John Yau writes of Greenbuam’s process:
Working within a smaller surface area, and in her own words, doing ‘just one thing’ at a time, Greenbaum paints incrementally, adding a new layer upon whatever preceded it. She uses oil and acrylic, as well as magic marker, and doesn’t scrape anything away. In this regard, the paintings are geological, with each layer forming a distinct strata.