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Way Down Blue

1945 Balcomb Greene Born: New York 1904 Died: Montauk Point, New York 1990 oil on canvas 20 x 29 15/16 in. (50.8 x 76.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.44 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 41A

Luce Center Quote

“When you paint nature, you realize how humble you are, how dependent on it you are.” Greene, quoted in Hale and Hale, The Art of Balcomb Greene, 1977

Luce Center Label

Many of the lines and shapes in Balcomb Greene’s abstract paintings suggest recognizable forms. In Way Down Blue the zigzagging line through the center of the image evokes the horizon of a surreal landscape, and the curved black shape to the left resembles a female figure standing against a long white wall. Greene created a dramatic sense of depth by painting the white shapes so that they appear to recede into the distance. He plays with the relationships between the forms, painting lines and shadows to highlight the space between them.



Figure female


paint - oil

fabric - canvas