Ethel Greene “Flying Pigfish”

Ethel Greene "Flying Pigfish"


Item: Flying Pigfish

Designer/Maker: Ethel Greene (1912-1999) – One of San Diego’s most significant modern painters, Ethel Greene was an extraordinary artist known for her surrealist pictures as well as images abstracted from nature. She exhibited the latter frequently during the early 1960s around Southern California. Ethel Greene remains a favorite painter for local enthusiasts, with what’s been called “cult-like popularity.”
Greene attended Boston University School of Art, The Boston Museum School and was graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art. She was one of the first artists chosen to join the Jefferson Gallery’s “stable” when they opened in La Jolla in 1963. Greene also had a two person show at the Fine Arts Gallery (SDMA) with Fred Holle, another Jefferson Gallery exhibitor, in 1961. While many of her works from the early 1960s were broadly simplified non-objective shapes or landscape-based abstractions, by the late 1960s she returned to the “meticulous and descriptive detail” that characterized both her early and later works.

Mark Lugo, guest-curator of Ethel Greene: Surrealist Painter (Oceanside Museum of Art, August 25 – October 13, 2002) writes in the exhibition catalog: “Greene thought of most of her Surrealist paintings as telling stories, but stories that the viewer must build himself or ascertain from the strangely conceived and juxtaposed elements she supplied. Her overriding concern was, ‘What can I do to it so it will be the most surprising?'”

Selected Early Exhibitions:
San Diego Art Guild Annuals, 1949-1963
Artists of L.A. & Vicinity, L.A. County Museum, 1950, 1952, 1955
Art Center in La Jolla, one-person show, 1956
CA Watercolor Society Annuals, 1958, 1960, 1963
SD Fine Arts Gallery, two-person show, 1961
SD County Fair, 1963, 1st prize
Cal Western University Invitational, 1963, purchase award
Southwestern College, Chula Vista, 1962
Arts of Southern California XIII, Long Beach Museum of Art, 1963
Jefferson Gallery, one-person shows, 1963, 1965

Description: Acrylic on board, circa 1987. Flying Pigfish is included in the Ethel Greene: Surrealist Painter exhibition checklist and was lent by local artist Lois Stecker, its former owner,  a friend who purchased it from Ethel Greene in the late 1980s.

Dimensions: 8″ x 10″

Condition: Excellent

Price: SOLD

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