Anthony Greco has been a fixture in the Atlanta art world for 50 years. In recognition of the artist’s 80th birthday this year, Thomas Deans Fine Art in Buckhead is presenting an important exhibition of his paintings from the 1970s. The 16 large-scale paintings in the exhibition trace the artist’s exploration of minimalism, a form of abstraction that reached its zenith in the 1970s. Minimalism focuses on simple forms, and many of Greco's paintings comprise only parallel, intersecting, broken, or overlapping stripes. The paintings make their effect purely through color and line. They show the artist reducing his art to its essentials, separating the act of painting from depiction or emotion. “I don't link the paintings to any specific visual source or stimuli," says Greco. "My only goal was to make work that wasn't fed by some visual object or illusion of space. It was all new and different for me.”
Greco’s interest in minimalism spanned only a decade. The paintings were included in exhibitions at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and elsewhere in the 1970s. They have not been shown publicly since. After 40 years, these paintings carry a patina of history yet retain their freshness and invention that is both the subject and the object of the work. They still look forward as much as back.