Contributed by Sharon Butler / Eric Brown, co-director of Gallery, has been a secret painter for years, and this month he had his first NYC solo show at CRUSH Curatorial in Chelsea. We’ve shown together at in Bushwick several times, and I’ve always loved his matte surfaces, rich color relationships, and endearingly hand-drawn geometric shapes. Here are some images for his solo show, as well as excerpts from John Zinsser’s fine exhibition essay.
“Brown’s small-scale and medium-scale works are all about possibilities. Each displays a record of generative and transformational visual logic.” Zinsser writes. “They are mostly limited to two or three colors in hard-edged interplay. Often, a chromatic hue—orange, green, blue—surrounds silhouetted black form. The internal shapes can read as biomorphic figures, bulbous, symmetrical, often placed off- center in a kind of precarious imbalance. Two very recent larger black-and-white works employ shaped stretcher bar configurations. Throughout, subtly-inflected layerings of oil paint result in densely optical areas of flat opaque color.”
Painted freehand, there is always a tenderness of human engagement. Mischievous absurdist humor runs against more traditional absolutist readings. At times, Brown allows a singular moment of “narrative” awkwardness to assert itself as a work’s central subject. Here, it’s like an invitation for the viewer to actively enter into the “crisis mode” of a painting’s own moment of coming-into-being…
Viewers may initially bring their own lexicon of indexical sources: , , . But the paintings resist such identification. They seem, in fact, adamantly non-appropriative. Instead, they arrive as “beings” among us—very much in the present.”
, Chelsea, New York, NY. The exhibition was on view through November 19, 2016.
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