“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813).
Lyons Wier Gallery is pleased to present “Women in Possession of Good Fortune,” by Kira Nam Greene.
Kira Nam Greene continues to explore and expand her interests in the sociopolitical arena of female identity and sexuality. The title of her exhibition, “Women in Possession of Good Fortune,” refers to the opening lines of Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice” and alludes to both the persistence of sexist assumptions and the achievements made by women from different races, ages and sexual orientations. The subjects in Greene's paintings are women in creative fields who are echoing poses from historical figurative paintings. Through interviews and research into the sitters working lives, Greene pictorially addresses the multifaceted richness of their being. By utilizing the familiar tropes of allusions, icons, objects, patterns, and symbols, her compositions weave a frenetic yet coherent narrative about the subject. Greene depicts the human figure in a meticulously realist style at the center of the compositions, surrounding them with design elements from widely dispersed cultures as a testament to the deep history of transnational cultural exchanges.
Imbuing the feminist example of the Pattern and Decoration Movement with recurring, multicultural motifs, Greene creates heterogeneous, colorful, and exactingly detailed paintings using varied techniques-exposed under-drawings, hyperrealism, hard-edged abstract elements, thick impasto-and media including oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil. As the realistically rendered subjects in the portraits bring into focus these intersecting design elements, the whole composition pairs figurative art with densely layered flat patterns. The combination of representational fidelity and non-traditional geometries in Greene’s paintings celebrates the imagination’s role in creating a plural and malleable reality. This defamiliarized space invites extended, sensual encounters with the paintings, where diverse representational modes coexist, and where the body appears as if seen for the first time.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Kira Nam Greene lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and her BA in International Relations from Seoul National University. Prior to becoming an artist, Greene earned her Ph. D in Political Science from Stanford University, specializing in Political Economy in East Asia, and taught wide variety of subject matters in Political Economy both in academic and business settings.
This is Kira Nam Greene’s first solo exhibition at Lyons Wier Gallery. She has exhibited widely at venues such as Sheldon Museum of Art, Muskegon Museum of Art, Brown University, Salisbury University, Wave Hill, Bronx Museum of Art, Noyes Museum, Accola Griefen Gallery, Lodge Gallery, Kiechel Fine Art, Gallery Korea, A.I.R. Gallery and Jane Lombard Gallery. Her work has been covered in publications such as Artnet News, Art F City, BmoreArt, Wallpaper, W Magazine, Lincoln Star Journal, Art21 Blog, Hyphen Magazine, The Korea Daily and New York Art Beat. She was a finalist for the inaugural Bennett Prize (2019) and a semi-finalist for Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (2019) by the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. A selection of her portrait paintings are on a national tour as a part of the Bennett Prize finalist exhibitions and will be shown at venues such as Reading Public Museum (2020), Pittsburgh Cultural District (2020) and Steinberg Museum of Art (2021). She was a Stewart MacMillan Chair in Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2017-28 and is a part-time faculty of Fine Arts MFA Program at Parsons School of Design, New York.