Art Green (artist)

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For other people named Art Green or Arthur Green, see Arthur Green (disambiguation).

Arthur Green (born 1941) is an American professor and painter. Green was a member of the Chicago artistic group, The Hairy Who in the 1960s, a member of the University of Waterloo’s faculty for over 30 years and has been an influential painter for over 40 years.

Art Green is represented exclusively by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.[1]

Early life[edit]

Green was born in Frankfort, Indiana. His father was a civil engineer who designed bridges. His mother crafted quilts and grew flowers.

He first studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1965, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts.


Green first came to prominence in 1966, when he joined five other recent Art Institute graduates for the first of a series of group exhibitions called The Hairy Who at a series of shows at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center. The strange name reflected the trend in monikers for rock groups of the time. The other members of the group were James Falconer, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum. Their work was known for its coarseness and vulgarity. It stood in contrast to the sleek and urban work by Manhattan artists at the time, namely Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist.

Between 1966 and 1967 Green worked at various Chicago public schools teaching seventh grade art. Between 1967 and 1968 he worked at Chicago City College as an Instructor. Green taught basic design, interior design, and art history. The following year he moved to Kendall College, Evanston, Illinois to assume a position as the Chair of the Fine Arts Department. There he taught studio and art history courses.

In 1969, Green married Natalie (also a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago), whose Art Institute education in pattern and fabric design became a strong influence on his work. He also accepted a teaching position at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University as an Assistant Professor.

In 1975, he received a Canada Council bursary, which enabled him to teach painting and drawing at the University of British Columbia.

In 1976, he moved and this time to Stratford, Ontario to teach at the University of Waterloo. While at UW, he served two terms as Chair of the Fine Arts Department; 1988–1991 and 2000-2002.

In 2005, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery hosted Heavy Weather: Art Green Retrospective in collaboration with the University of Waterloo Art Gallery. This exhibition brought together 50 of Green’s pieces, loaned from the artist and several private and public collectors in the United States and Canada, as a comprehensive survey of his 40-year career. Gary Michael Dault created a soft cover book with the same Heavy Weather title. The book contains photographs of the 50 pieces, commentary, and resource images which had inspired Green.

In 2006, the University of Waterloo gave him emeritus status. Green is married with two children, Catherine and Nicholas. As of 2006, Green lived with his wife in Stratford, Ontario.


Green is known for his layered paintings.

In the introduction to Heavy Weather, Green writes in the early days, “I aspired to make paintings that were awkward and monstrous, boring and familiar.”

In the mid-1980s, Green was interested in the Necker Cube. He wrote, “I was intrigued by the possibilities of simultaneously representing all sides of a rotating cube. I incorporated tiling patterns of unfolded cubes along with the hypercube in my work.”

Of his more recent work, Green wrote, “I have been trying to make layered paintings that take a long time to “see”. I want to encourage the viewer to be conscious of the (usually unconscious) process of the interpretation and construction of images in the mind.”

Noteworthy pieces[edit]

  • Absolute Purity, 1967, Tastee-Freeze series
  • Immoderate Abstention, 1969, Fire and scissors
  • Saturated Fat, 1971, Tastee-Freeze series
  • Blank Slate, 1978, oil on canvas. First painting of an extended series that involve images of mirrors.
  • Risky Business, 1980, a fire-and-fingernail totem with a layered and shaped canvases
  • Persons Unknown, 1985, layered and shaped canvases
  • Double Crosser, 1991, imagery is secured, wired, lashed, tied-off, taped, and fastened with screws
  • Circular Argument, 1994, layered and shaped canvases


Green’s paintings are in many public and private collections including those of The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; The National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, DC; The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS; The Province of British Columbia; The Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON; The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and The University of Waterloo Art Gallery.


Since 1968, Green’s work has been the subject of over 25 solo exhibitions, including nine at Phyllis Kind Gallery (1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, Chicago and New York), three at Bau-Xi Gallery (1974, 1979, and 1983, Vancouver and Toronto), and one at Corbett vs. Dempsey (2011, Chicago). His work has also been featured in more than 120 group exhibitions, including Personal Torment–Human Response (1969, Whitney Museum of American Art); Who Chicago (1981, Camden Art Center, London); 12 Chicago Artists (National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution); and Chicago Imagists (2011, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin). In 2005, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Ontario mounted Heavy Weather, the artist’s first career retrospective. In early 2009, the CUE Art Foundation, New York hosted a solo exhibition of Green’s work, curated by Jim Nutt.

Green’s paintings are featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Smart Museum of Art, the University of Chicago; the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin; the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.


  • 1991, awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award at the University of Waterloo
  • 1999, elected to Membership of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts[2]
  • 2004, awarded the Waterloo Regional Arts Council Arts Award for Visual Art


  1. ^ "Art Green". Garth Greenan Gallery. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 


External links[edit]