Balcomb Greene


Balcomb Greene Biography

1904 - 1990

BALCOMB GREENE (1904-1990)

Balcomb Greene was a one of the leaders of the early American Modernist movement of the 1930s.  In 1935, he was included in the ground breaking exhibition, Abstract Painting in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art.   Along with Ilya Bolotowsky, Charles Green Shaw and Burgoyne Diller, he founded the American Abstract Artists group in 1936. Balcomb Greene’s pure geometric style of juxtaposing hard edge shapes and lines against planes of color made the 1930s one of the most important periods in American painting, thus leading the way for the Abstract Expressionist painters who followed in the 1950s.

Balcomb Greene’s work may be found in most major public collections, including Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

© Berry Campbell

1904, born, Millville, New York
1936, received B.A., Syracuse University
1927, studied at Columbia University
1931, studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaurniere, Paris
1943, received M.A., New York University

lB. Neuman's New Art Circle, New York, 1947.
Arts and Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1953.
Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, annually 1950-61
American University, Washington, D.C., 1957
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, New York, 1959
Centre Cultural American, American Embassy, Paris, 1960
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1961
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1961
Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1961
Everhart Museum, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1961
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1961
Mouth Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, 1961
Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York, 1961
Saidenberg Gallery, New York, annually 1962-5, 1967-8
Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, 1963-4
Feingarten Galleries, Chicago, 1963
La Jolla Art Center, California, 1964
University Gallery, University of Florida, 1965
Tampa Art Institute, Florida, 1965
James David Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida, 1965, 1966
Arts and Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1966
Main Street Galleries, Chicago, 1966
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, 1966
Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona, 1966
Adele Bednarz Galleries, Los Angeles, California, annually, 1966-69; annually, 1971-75
Occidental College, Los Angeles, 1967
Berenson Galleries, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, annually, 1967-69
Mackler Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1968
Forum Gallery, New York, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975
Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, 1972, 1973
Harmon Gallery, Naples, Florida, annually, 1974-1977, 1979, 1982
Harmon-Meek Gallery, Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1992, 1994
International Oceanographic Institute, Key Biscayne, Florida, 1976
A.C.A. Galleries, New York, 1977, 1979 (with Gertrude Greene, 1904-1956), 1979, 1982
University of Texas, Austin, 1977
Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, 1977
Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, 1977
Wichita Slate University, Kansas, 1978
University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 1978
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1978
Guild Hall, East Hampton, Long Island, New York, 1978
Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1979
Harmon Gallery, Naples, Florida, 1982
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Florida, annually, 1983-88
The Sheldon Swope Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana, 1983
Edwin A. Ulrich Gallery of Art, Wichita State College, Kansas
Canton Art Institute, Ohio, 1983
Phoenix II Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1983
Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, Balcomb Greene: The Figure in His Art, 1931-1984, 1985.
Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 1987
St. Mary's College Art Gallery, Maryland, 1987
Katarina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, 1984, 1986, 1988 (with Gertrude Greene, 1904-1956), 1990
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, 1991
Arlene Bujese Gallery, East Hampton, Long Island, New York, 1996
Melvin Gallery, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, 1996
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York, 1998
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, Balcomb Greene/Gertrude Greene: Two Artists: Works 1930s-1980s, 1998.
Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, Balcomb Greene: Non-Objective Works of the 1930s & 1970s, 2001.
Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, Balcomb Greene, 1904-1990: Abstraction
Against the Tide, 2004.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Balcomb Greene: A Retrospective, 2008.
DeLand Museum of Art, DeLand, Florida, Balcomb Greene: American Abstraction 1929-1985, 2018

Caldwell Gallery Hudson, New York, Panorama-250 Years of American Art, 2014.
Rosenberg & Co., New York, Collages, 2015.
Caldwell Gallery Hudson, New York, Summer’s Bounty, 2015.
ACA Galleries, New York, Paper Through the Ages: Drawings and Prints, 2016.
Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, Summer Selections, 2017.
Debra Force Fine Art, New York, Modernism to Abstraction: 20th Century American Paintings, 2018.
Cavalier Galleries, New York, 57th Street: America’s Artistic Legacy, Part I, 2018.
Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, Summer Selections, 2018.
Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, A Life With Art | Gifts from Dwight and Sue Emanuelson, 2019.

Abstract Painting in America, 1935 (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1935).
Balcomb Greene, "Differences over Leger," Art Front (January 1936), 8-9.
Balcomb Greene, "Expression as Production," American Abstract Artists (1938).
Balcomb Greene, "American Perspective," Plastique (Spring 1938),12-14.
American Abstract Artists, (1939).
Rosamund Frost, Contemporary Art (New York: Crown, 1942).
Joseph Bailey Ellis, "Art in Progress," Carnegie Magazine (February 1943),261,263.
Lincoln Kirstein and George Morris, "Life or Death for Abstract Art?," Magazine of Art, (March 1943), 110 118-9.
Sidney Janis, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America (New York: Reyna] and Hitchcock, 1944).
Balcomb Greene, "I Paint as I Paint," American Artist (June 1944),32-35.
Norwood MacGilvary, "Associated Artists Prize Winners," Carnegie Magazine (March 1946),260.
Kermit Ewing, "Out of the Smog," Carnegie Magazine (March 1947) 227, 229.
"Fifty-Seventh Street in Review," Art Digest (April 1947), .20.
Art News (April 1947),44.
Balcomb Greene, "The Problem of Expression in Art," Carnegie Magazine (February 1949),211-213.
Balcomb Greene, "The Artist's Point of View," Magazine of Art (November 1949), 267-269.
Belle Krasne, "Balcomb Greene's Retreat to Likeness," Art Digest (April 1950), 16.
Art News (May 1950) 49.
Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America (New York: Museum of Modem Art, 1951).
"The Year's Best: 1950," Art News (January 1951),43,59.
Artists on the Island," Harper's Bazaar (July 1951),52.
Thomas Hess, Abstract Painting (New York: Viking Press, 1951)
Contemporary American Painting, 1952, (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1952).
Art Digest (April 15, 1952),16.
Art News (April 1952), 46.
"Symposium: The Human Figure," Art Digest (November 15,1953),12-13,33.
Elaine deKooning, "Greene Paints a Picture," Art News (May 1954),34,37,48, 50-51.
"10 Artists in the Margin," Design Quarterly, (1954), 9-11.
"Artist Bedazzled," Art Digest (January 1954), 15.
Art News (January 1954), 67.
Art News (January 1955),48.
Art Digest (January 1955),24-25.
Otis Gage, Arts and Architecture (March 1955), 39-40.
Sam Hood, "Balcomb Greene: Detour to Abstraction," Pittsburgh Press, May 1955,6-7.
Balcomb Greene, "The Painter Examines the Social Contract," Art News (April 1956), 30-31,92-93.
"What the Museums are Buying," Time, (June 25, 1956),74-5.
Art News (November 1956),36,67.
Alexander Eliot, Three Hundred Years of American Painting (New York: Time Inc., 1957).
Michel Seuphor, Dictionary of Abstract Painting (New York: Tudor, 1957).
Balcomb Greene, "The Artist's Reluctance to Communicate," Art News (January 1957), 44-45.
Balcomb Greene, "The Fourth Illusion, or Hunger for Genius," Art News (September 1957), 46-50.
Balcomb Greene, "Basic Concepts for Teaching Art," College Art Journal (Autumn 1958), 21-34.
Art News (October 1958),12.
Art Digest (November 1958), 56.
Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, 1959, (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1959).
Harris K. Prior (forward), Balcomb Greene-20 Years of Painting, (New York: Bertha Schaefer Gallery, 1959).
Peter Se1z, New Images of Man (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1959).
Art News (October 1959),13.
Sidney Tillim, Arts (October 1959), 51.
Balcomb Greene, "The Doctrine of Pure Aesthetic," College Art Journal (Winter 1959-60), 122-133.
Chevalier, "Les Expositions a Paris," Aujourd'hui, February 1960,40.
Peter Selz, "Nouvelles Images de l'homme," Oeil (February 1960),51.
Annette Michelson, "Paintings at the American Cultural Center, Paris," Arts (April 1960), 21.
Balcomb Greene, “Art as the Opium of the Elite," Art News (February 1961),33.
"Magic Ambiguity," Time, (June 16, 1961),64-7.
M.L.D. Mastani, "Retrospective at the Whitney Museum and a Show at the Bertha
Schaefer Gallery," Apollo (July 1961),21.
Petersen, "Greene Thoughts in a Greene Shade," Art News (Summer 1961), 34-5.
Raynor, "Retrospective al the Whitney," Arts (September 1961),32-5.
Tillim, "Exhibition at the Saidenberg Gallery," Arts (December 1962),47.
Grossberg, "Exhibition at Saidenberg Gallery," Arts (March 1965), 56.
Balcomb Greene, "A Thing of Beauty," College Art Journal (Summer 1966), 364-369.
Van Deren Coke, The Painter and the Photographer (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972).
Malcolm Preston, "Painter Balcomb Greene at his Height," The Christian Science Monitor, April 21, 1973, 14.
Robert Beverly Hale, The Art of Balcomb Greene (New York: Horizon Press, 1977).
Irving Sandler, Balcomb Greene Retrospective (Naples: Harmon Gallery, 1982).
Frank Gerlein, Balcomb Greene: The Figure in His Art, 1931-1984 (Naples: Harmon-Meek Gallery, 1985).
Norman Nadel, Balcomb Greene: Non-Objective Works of the 1930s & 1970s (Naples: Harmon-Meek Gallery, 2001.).
Donald Miller, Balcomb Greene 1904-1990: Abstractionist Against the Tide (Naples: Harmon-Meek Gallery, 2004).
Lisa N. Peters, Balcomb Greene: A Retrospective (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2008). 

Allentown Art Museum Pennsylvania
Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Centre College Regional Art Center, Danville, Kentucky
Cincinnati Arts Museum, Ohio
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Guild Hall, East Hampton, Long Island, New York
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Lytton Industries Collection, Los Angeles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Miami, Florida
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California
University of Miami, Florida
Metropolitan Life Insurance, New York
Museum of Fine Art, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama
University of Nebraska Art Galleries, Lincoln
Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York
Newark Museum, New Jersey
Pasadena Art Museum, California
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
St. Petersburg Museum of Art, Florida
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
University of Texas Art Museum, Austin
Vassar College, Frances Leyman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
University of Virginia Art Museum, Bayley Hall, Charlottesville, Virginia
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts