2021 State Fellow
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Southern Prize and State Fellowship
Born in New York City, Myra Greene received her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico. Greene's work has been featured in national exhibitions in galleries and museums including Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, The New York Public Library, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Williams College Museum of Art, Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and Sculpture Center in New York City. Greene’s work is in the permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Rose Art Museum at Brandies. Myra is Professor and Chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture and Director of the Photography Program at Spelman College.
My work explores abstractions of race and the body. My artistic practice engages textiles with a focus on the manipulation of color and how our understanding of color is completely dependent on its context – materially, culturally, and historically. My work employs the color brown and how it can be mimicked and evoked when printing and dyeing fabric. The resulting colors are reminiscent of my skin tone, helping to create an abstract way of visualizing an identity politics.
In Piecework, I dye fabrics their complementary color to create a smooth transition from that color to brown. Inspired by traditional Dutch Wax patterns found on African textiles, I silkscreen digitally stitched patterns onto fabric using metallic inks. Laden with cultural and historical references (triangles which both insight my personal history as well as movements in the diasporic slave trade) these works emphasize the power of hue and form, and their ability to create an abstraction based in illusion of space through color.
In Mixed, each piece is a composition of hand-dyed strips of fabric that fade from rich tones to brown. The final composition is a gradation that calls attention to the complexities of the layers that create a whole. The textile is seductive in nature, and not uniform causing undulating, captivating textures on the surface of the work. The color brown is not a pure color, but a tone, a composite, and a beautiful blend of information.