Born in Cleveland in 1942, Mark Greenwold studied painting at Carnegie Mellon University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Indiana University. His famously laborious artistic process mirrors the psychological intensity of his paintings. The artist works under magnification, like a jeweler, employing the tiniest of brushes. He builds up surfaces stroke by stroke, all the while flipping between various preparatory photographs and drawings. The result is a kind of delirious realism in which everything portrayed, however realistic, is actually composed of thousands upon thousands of beautiful abstractions.
Since 1979, Greenwold has had only ten solo-exhibitions, two of which contained only one painting. His 1995 mid-career retrospective, Mark Greenwold: The Odious Facts, 1975–1995, contained a scant 27 works—virtually his entire mature oeuvre—and took place at the Colby College Museum of Art. His paintings have appeared in numerous recent group exhibitions, including Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque (2005, SITE Santa Fe), Embracing Modernism (2015, Morgan Library and Museum, New York), and Intimacy in Discourse (2015, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City).
Greenwold’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums across the United States, including: the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; the Hirshhorn Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Morgan Library and Museum, New York; the National Academy Museum, New York; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.