'Opened Ground' explores ancient influences on modern art

Greg Slick's work takes in rural fields of dolmens, wedge tombs, cairns, and standing stones

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  • Greg Slick, "Primal Structure # 2"

  • Greg Slick, "Alignment," Acrylic on wood panel

— Greg Slick’s work, at the crossroads of art, archaeology, and anthropology, investigates the influence of ancient and “primitive” cultures on modern and contemporary art.

Prehistoric stone structures and artifacts, Informalism, the Earth Art movement, and shamanism are some of the key influences on his practice. 

His new exhibition, "Opened Ground," is coming to The Seligmann Center, 23-26 White Oak Drive, Chester, with opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. The exhibit will remain on view through Nov. 5. Slick will give a talk about his work at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22.

In many of his paintings, Slick references the graphic qualities of Neolithic and Iron Age archaeological surveys and sites. Their palette alludes to the rural fields where dolmens, wedge tombs, cairns, and standing stones are found.

Slick is also exploring the conventions of archaeological fieldwork and museum display. His stone beehive hut sculptures are presented as both scale models one might see in a history museum and as abstract works in their own right. His stone figures and petroglyphs leverage both ancient imagery and 20th century Primitivism while exploring a connection between an authentic experience of the past and a museum-mediated one of the present. 

Slick’s fascination with the distant past raises questions about what we seem to know — and ultimately don’t know — about our origins.

Slick lives and works in Beacon, and has exhibited in New York City and internationally. Most recently, his work was featured in Fieldwork, a solo exhibition at Matteawan Gallery, Beacon; Carte Blanche, a group show at Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, Md.; and Taconic North, a group exhibition at LABspace, Hillsdale, N.Y.

Slick is also an independent curator, and has worked with The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz and the Garrison Art Center, Garrison, N.Y.

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