Max Ernst Greis (born 1981, Manhattan, NY) completed his BFA at the School of Visual Arts in 2005, receiving the Alumni Scholarship Award. Upon finishing his MFA at Hunter College in 2014, he was awarded a Hunter travel grant to study the works of Bosch and Bruegel in Madrid, Vienna and Berlin. He’s exhibited at the Edward Hopper House Art Center, Katonah Museum of Art, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, National Arts Club, American Civil War Center at Tredegar, and more. In 2015, his debut solo show at Pavel Zoubok Gallery was named an Artforum Critics' Pick in New York.
The world is changing faster than ever, from global warming and the loss of ecosystems, to the destruction of indigenous cultures and people. Industrialization has radically altered humanity’s relationship to nature, with simultaneously empowering and endangering effects.
I create landscapes that reflect this theme, penetrating time and space in an exploration of this process of transformation. Whether in painting, video, or diorama, I utilize collage built from many individual landscape scenes, seamlessly blended together to construct a globalized vision. The world that emerges is composed of my forms, thoughts, and narratives. I call it the Archaic Armageddon.
My work evolves out of several art history genres: the use of collage and method of juxtaposition recall the Dada and Surrealist traditions, creating dream-like, otherworldly atmospheres. The stylization and landscape perspective reflect a range of Asian traditions, including Chinese hand scrolls, Japanese woodblock printing, and Persian miniatures. Early Northern Renaissance masters, specifically the work of Bruegel and Bosch, inspire the apocalyptic and hyper sensibility of the narrative. As a New Yorker, the Hudson River School is also reflected in my work, continuing the American tradition of speaking through landscape.