Monday, October 11, 2010

Variety Show: The Art of Glenn Brown

“I tend to think of the exhibitions I do as a loose accumulation of paintings with no single theme—like a variety show,” artist Glenn Brown said in 2007. “A comedy act, a magician, dancing girls, a ventriloquist, and of course a good impressionist make, I think, a reasonable show.” Glenn Brown: Three Exhibitions, a survey of shows from 2004, 2007, and 2009 published by Rizzoli and the Gagosian Gallery, gives you a front row seat at the variety show that is Brown’s art. The cast of characters comes from the collected imagery of art history’s past. But rather than a mere revival show, Brown’s revue is something new. “Brown has likened himself to Dr. Frankenstein,” Rochelle Steiner writes in her essay, “creatively piecing together sections of figures, backgrounds, colour palettes, shadows, and compositions, among other elements—but his approach goes far beyond that of cutting and pasting to create works of art that are without doubt his own.” It’s alive, you’ll scream, as you see the good doctor slice and dice past masters into a modern mastery of his own. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Variety Show."

[Many thanks to Rizzoli and for providing me with a review copy of Glenn Brown: Three Exhibitions and to Gagosian Gallery for providing me with the cover image above.]

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