"Greely Myatt, born 1952 in Mississippi, is best known for his work with empty speech balloons, sourced from comic strips and drawn, sculpted, or excised, begging the viewer to insert some kind of external narrative into the work. And though I'm sure he'd object to my putting it this way, there is no way to avoid seeing this as a Barthesian invitation, a kind of game wherein Myatt is not only spoken for but about, a sly prompt to have us inhabit the Southern Other, if only to let us expose our own prejudices.
An appropriative polyglot, he has also absorbed the language and forms of quilting. The quilts, which are often made of metal scavenged from old road signs, call upon his childhood growing up in Mississippi, merging the old southern vernacular with the language of mid-century American Modernism, transliterating the coded patterns of this feminine domestic into a kind of post-Greenbergian geometric opticality, all the more knowing when hung from metal frames like industrial laundry or, more recently, fused together into something of a flattened David Smith, thus reigniting, certainly knowingly perhaps comically, the high Modernist debates of dimensionality, narrativity, and derivation."
Adrian R. Duran, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Art History
University of Nebraska - Omaha
originally printed in Big Red & Shiny, November 2012
About the Author
More Books by davidlusk