Orien Lowell Greenough: Lives Matter
January 18 – March 1, 2015
Reception: Sunday, February 15, 2015, 6–9PM
Extended Gallery Hours: Sunday, March 1, 9AM–5PM
Open Saturdays and Sundays, 9AM–12PM
The life of Orien Lowell Greenough (1921–2008) is both shrouded in mystery and rich with influence and action. Greenough filed as a conscientious objector during World War II and was an outspoken critic of McCarthyism and a participant in anti-Vietnam protests like Mark di Suvero’s iconic Artists’ Tower of Protest. His artistic career and personal style underwent an increasingly radical transformation throughout the 1950s and 60s, as he developed an increasingly surreal, abstract, almost psychedelic style, while never losing sight of his calling to social justice concerns. – Shana Nys Dambrot, LA Weekly.
2A Gallery presents an exhibition of work by Orien Lowell Greenough running through February 15, 2015. A reception takes place on Sunday, February 15, 2015, 6–9PM. The gallery will have extended hours on March 1, from 9AM till 5PM. The gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM till 12PM.
The exhibition consists of paintings and drawings by Greenough depicting the horrors of what he perceived as social injustice, particularly involving racism and relating to the various wars America was involved in after World War II.
Orien Lowell Greenough (1921–2008) was a visionary artist and committed antiwar activist. While serving in the United States Coast Guard between 1940 and 1944, his experiences led him to become a conscientious objector. On the strength of his convictions he went AWOL but eventually turned himself in to the authorities. He was incarcerated for a year in a military prison, where he met and was counseled by a Quaker volunteer. During this period he came to understand the nature of his pacifism, which became his lifelong commitment. After the war, Lowell entered art school and for several years studied under Emil Bisttram, the noted teacher and artist of the Southwestern United States.
It was during the 1950s that Lowell became more involved with antiwar activities – marching, protesting, and campaigning against the violence of war. This led him to begin painting and drawing about his antiwar and anti-racist convictions. The work in Orien Lowell Greenough: Lives Matter reflects his personal views on the prevalent violence and social injustice of the period. The works, which span from the mid-50s to the mid-60s, showcase Lowell’s later magical realist style of painting – similar to other noted artists from the era such as Ivan Albright and Irving Norman. Three strong works in the exhibition, Metamorphosis of Edward Teller, Buried In Uniform, and The Klansmen are all prime examples from this period. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to appreciate the prescient nature of Lowell’s antiwar art, an artform that has become commonplace in today’s culture.
2A Gallery is located at 400 S Main St #2A, Los Angeles, CA 90013 on the second floor of the San Fernando Building. 2A Gallery is an independent artist/curator-run project designed to utilize a particularly unique space as a venue for creative production and exhibition. Exhibitions have an opening and closing reception. The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday from 9AM till 12PM. Otherwise, the space is open by appointment by emailing calvin@2AGallery.com.
Image: Orien Lowell Greenough, Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye, 1959. Oil on canvas, 18 x 12 inches. Courtesy of Tam Warner.