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Cynthia Greig’s work mines commercial art galleries for their raw materials, placing the minimalist aesthetic of the exhibition space itself on display. Her conceptual approach to photography explores the malleability of perception—between document and fiction, interior and exterior, spectacle and existential void—as a reconfiguration of the sublime. She deconstructs the impossibly pristine modernist white cube, and directs our attention to the nature of appearances, giving visibility to the effect of its architecture upon our experience. By closely examining the entropic evidence of change, her work considers the broader trajectories of time—its ghostly shadows and forgotten histories — within the context of contemporary art’s display and commerce.
Greig’s recent and upcoming exhibitions include Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto), CCS Center Galleries (Detroit), March (San Francisco), Konsthallen-Bohusläns Museum (Sweden), National Museum Wroclaw (Poland), and the Art Gallery of Windsor (Canada). Her photographs and videos are in the permanent collections of George Eastman Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Smith College Museum of Art. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, most recently her work was recognized with a Visual Artist Fellowship from The Kresge Foundation in 2015. Before earning her MFA from the University of Michigan in 1995 she received an MA in art history from the University of Iowa and BFA in printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis. Greig lives and works in metropolitan Detroit.
The books mentioned in the interview are Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists Reinvigorate the Still-Life Tradition by Michael Petry and American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow as well as Patterns in Comparative Religion by Mircea Eliade.
[…] Cynthia Greig is a native of Detroit. Her studio sits north of the famed 8 Mile. She says of her home city that while there is a great diversity of opinion, even in the midst of decay those who truly know the city could see the inherent beauty of the place. Her art takes on the topic of exhibitionism, investigating and deconstructing the concept of the white cube gallery space and breaking it down to its essential parts. She has watched the scale of galleries grow exponentially from white cube to international powerhouses and examined how this affects the value of the art within. Her art explores these themes often depicting interruptions in the pristine facade of the gallery space. […]
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