Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: MAK Center

Routine Pleasures

MAK Center, Los Angeles

01 Routine

Manny Farber, Birthplace: Douglas, Ariz. (1979). Oil on board. Image courtesy of the MAK Center and Doug Simay. Photo: Joshua White.

How would you like to be labeled a termite? Or rather, to cite the term that Manny Farber coined in 1962, a “termite artist”? Farber—the San Diego painter and film critic who died in 2008—was writing in the now defunct magazine Film Culture, expanding on his opposing terms “termite art” and “white elephant art.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tony Greene

MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles

Tony Greene, …understand…, 1989  Courtesy of Judie Bamber  © The Estate of Tony Greene

Tony Greene, …understand…, 1989
Courtesy of Judie Bamber © The Estate of Tony Greene

 

When Tony Greene made the 20-odd works in this exhibition, all dated between 1987 and 1990, he knew he was dying of AIDS. This very fact makes even his least political paintings almost unbearably poignant. Greene’s art is devastating and immediate because it is his answer to a question that everyone should consider from time to time: What would you make if you knew you only had a few years to live? Read the rest of this entry »