My work explores the overlap of art, archaeology, and anthropology and the impact of ancient and traditional cultures on contemporary art. Prehistoric stone structures, Informalism, the Earth Art movement, and the study of shamanism are some of the key influences on my practice. My paintings on wood panel investigate the formal geometries of megalithic monuments through color, texture, and occasional digital mapping, and how those shapes occupy space in different and surprising ways. Ancestral connections and how we dialogue with deep history through art is another theme present in both my paintings and Neolithic-inspired pecked stone sculptures. My abiding obsession with history raises questions about what we seem to know—and definitely don’t know—about our origins, and about our institutionalized and accepted norms of knowledge concerning the distant past. I feel that in order to know where our culture of aesthetic objects is going, we must know from where it has come.
My paintings investigate ideas of monumentality through the geometries of prehistoric archaeological sites. Using color, texture, patterns of entoptic phenomena, and occasional references to digital mapping my work examines how megalithic shapes can occupy space in different and surprising ways within an abstract language. Hardedge forms reinterpret tumbles of stones at Neolithic sites as a composition of texture/color upon a vibrant ground. Color schemes allude to changing light in rural areas where these stones are found. The intended challenge to the viewer is to read deeply and consider the meaning and politics of monument building along the human journey.
Many of the Neolithic and Iron Age sites that are referenced in my paintings are located in Spain. My Spanish grandmother spoke of these places often, and visits to Los Toros de Guisando and the dolmens of Antequera, for example, galvanized an interest in the prehistory of Spain. As my practice developed around these themes, I became more invested in how traditional cultural forms, such as abstract patterns and building techniques, have persisted across millennia. The long shadow of prehistoric cultures can still be seen today in Spain in such things as rural structures (eg, shepherds’ huts) and folk designs on clay and ceramic wares.
Greg Slick is a visual artist and independent curator based in Beacon, NY. Time, history, archaeology, and anthropology play major thematic roles in his work. Most recently his work was featured in the group exhibitions Rock Wood Paper Scissors at The Lockwood Gallery, Kingston, NY, and Collective Expeditions, at both BSB Gallery, Trenton, NJ and SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge, NY. Other group exhibitions include Take Back the Walls at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY; Painting in the 21st Century, at Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY; and Time Travelers at The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Old Bones and Broken Stones at No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works, Beacon, NY and Opened Ground at the Seligmann Center, Sugar Loaf, NY. Slick is the founder and co-curator of the artists’ collective The International Society of Antiquaries.