greg colson – guest artist


Greg Colson is an American artist whose art is marked by the jarringly direct way he commingles material and conceptual elements. In his constructions, precisely rendered systems are disrupted and contradicted by the contexts they are placed in. By drawing out the poetry and humor in our social patterns, Colson seems to suggest there are limits to – and hazards inherent in – our obsession with efficiency, data, and analysis of every kind.

Greg Colson’s art combines conflicting notions of order and neglect, image and support, the big picture and small details. Among his body of work is a series of “stick map” sculptures of cities such as Cleveland, San Jose, Miami, or Amsterdam. These sculptures are built of found lengths of various materials; ski poles, curtain rods, plastic pipe, wood molding – the structure becoming a metaphor for the manifold influences that form a city. In another series of constructed “pie chart” paintings (based on socio-cultural surveys), Colson mocks the deluge of analysis that is so much a part of our daily existence by playing up the material and iconographic elements to such a degree that any actual understanding is subverted. Roberta Smith in her early New York Times review: “In nearly all of Mr. Colson’s works, the combination of modesty and grandiosity, of mental exactness and physical imprecision adds up to an odd, sad beauty. Elliptical as they are, his pieces often seem to scrutinize the conflict between the active center and deserted margins of industrialized society.”


Colson has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including Sperone Westwater (New York), Griffin Contemporary (Santa Monica), Kunsthalle Lophem (Bruges), Galleria Cardi (Milan), Gian Enzo Sperone (Rome), Art Affairs (Amsterdam), Konrad Fischer (Dusseldorf), and the Lannan Museum (Lake Worth, FL.). Colson’s work is in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), the Panza Collection (Lugano, Switzerland), Sammlung Rosenkranz (Berlin), and the Moderna Museet (Stockholm).

Monographs: “Greg Colson: The Architecture of Distraction” (W.L. Griffin Editions, 2006); “Greg Colson” by Robert Evren (Galleria Cardi, 2001); “Greg Colson” by Pontus Hulten and Peter Wegner (Whale and Star Press, 1999); and “Greg Colson at Krannert Art Museum” by David Pagel (University of Illinois, 1996).

Other exhibition books and catalogues that include his work: “Giuseppe Panza: Memories of a Collector” by Giuseppe Panza (Abbeville Press, 2007); “Ballkünstler” by Andreas Holl (Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, 2006); “Gian Enzo Sperone: Torino, Roma, New York” (Hopeful Monster Editore, 2000); “Panza: The Legacy of a Collector” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1999); “Mapping” by Robert Storr (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1994

selected works