Prolific, endlessly inventive and curious, Tom Green’s untimely death left behind a gaping hole in the Washington, DC art community as well as multiple bodies of work. Green was widely considered a leading artist of his generation, an exceptionally generous teacher and mentor and a keen observer of nature and of the work of his peers. His work has been in dozens of shows, including being featured at the Guggenheim Museum in 1981 and the Whitney Biennial in 1975.
As well as early installations, Green worked in acrylic on board and canvas, watercolor and gouache on paper and in printmaking. His work is at times dark, contemplative and at others playful and awash with inside jokes and coded references. He often combined styles to create distilled version of previous explorations. His ever present black notebooks, which he referred to as “inventories”, absolved him of the need to make preliminary sketches for his paintings.
“While hints of contemporaries Philip Guston and William Wiley and forerunners Vassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollack are visible in his work, Green was an innovator rooted in the present. Like so many of his fellow D.C. artists, he chose the path of speculative symbolism over the formal abstraction of the Washington Color School.” Sarah Tanguy 2019