Balcomb Greene (1904–1990) and his wife, artist Gertrude Glass Greene, were heavily involved in political activism to promote mainstream acceptance of abstract art. They were founding members of the American Abstract Artists organization.His early style was completely non-objective. Juan Gris and Piet Mondrian as well as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse influenced his early style. From the 1940s his work "opened out to the light and space of natural form." He painted landscapes and figure. "He discerned the pain of a man, and hewed to it integrally from beginning to end…. In his study of the figure he did not stress anatomical shape but rater its intuitive, often conflicting spirit."
Balcomb Greene contributed to modernist cause through his writings: "It is actually the artist, and only he, who is equipped for approaching the individual directly. The abstract artist can approach man through the most immediate of aesthetic experiences, touching below consciousness and the veneer of attitudes, contacting the whole ego rather than the ego on the defensive.Wikipedia
In 1940 Balcomb Greene began studying art history at New York University, going on to receive a master’s degree in 1943. During this period, his aesthetic approach changed as he abandoned the crisply rendered and brightly colored forms of his geometric work in favor of the figure shown against a backdrop of fragmented planes. He went on to create paintings, often naturalistic depictions of the female nude, that were characterized by an expressionist handling of paint and a limited palette of whites, greys and other muted tones that derived from his interest in photography. In 1947 Greene purchased some land on Montauk Point, Long Island, where he built a home on a high bluff. With the exception of a trip to Paris in 1958-60, he spent most of his time on Long Island, where he was one of the pioneers of the East End art colony. Inspired by the proximity of the ocean, he painted a number of marines, using dynamic brushwork to evoke the energy and spirit of the sea.(Spanierman Gallery)