The great irony of this exhibition’s name, of course, is that Green’s “new blue friends” evade the specific intimacy of the artist’s notable use of the color in her series “The Last Supper
,” for which she spends about half of every year painting dishware with cobalt images of death row inmates’ last supper requests. (Of that project, Green has said
: “The color blue seemed appropriate for both its beauty and its sadness.”) Instead, these “new blue friends” become but numbers in an ocean of mass consumption. And yet, contrary to this effect, Green’s exhibition also includes Embarrassment of Dishes
(2015), a set of her grandmother’s 1961 Noritake dishware stacked and displayed on a windowsill. Green has painted over the dishes’ original pattern with a mixture of blue pigment, 7-Up, and simple syrup, and endowed each with an intimate confession of an awkward or embarrassing moment from her personal history. While the Noritake initially read as a sort of “why not” inclusion of Green’s personal history in a room ostensibly focused elsewhere, the why
itself ultimately seems quite clear. Green’s old blue friends are as insistent as—if not more than—her new ones.