February 18 – March 3 2022
Deborah Brown’s recent paintings depict houses familiar to any New Yorker. The dwellings are located on a block in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the artist walks her dog. The works focus on the oddities of the generic architecture of the dwellings, which under the artist’s scrutiny become idiosyncratic and engaging. Aluminum siding, carved wooden cornices, wrought-iron fencing and “Flintstone-like” cladding are transformed by the artist into a dreamlike, metaphorical landscape through her use of vibrant colors and abbreviated brushstrokes. Passing in front of the houses is the shadow of the protagonist and her canine companion. The shadow of a figure on the doorstep or the sidewalk conjures notions of home, but the reference is ambiguous. Is the figure a friend or a foe, a lurker or a neighbor? The absence of cars and people gives the work an existential cast as if the protagonist might be a survivor among the last inhabitants of a strange landscape. This theme takes on added meaning after two years of quarantine and isolation created by the global pandemic. We are all figures who emerge tentatively from shelter, happy to find the world intact, but wary of what awaits us.
Deborah Brown has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe. A recent body of work, The Shadow Paintings, is currently the subject of a solo show at Schloss Derneburg Museum at Hall Art Foundation in Germany through March 6, 2022. Brown’s work will be featured in Domesticity:2022, an upcoming exhibition at the Nassima Landau Foundation in Tel Aviv opening May 12.
Deborah Brown was born in 1955. She received a BA from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and an MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Brown’s recent solo and group exhibitions include, Hall Art Foundation at Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg in Derneburg, Germany (2021); "Quiet City" at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York, New York (2021); "Friends and Family" at Magenta Plains in New York, New York (2021); “Platform” at Unit London in London, United Kingdom (2021); “The Changing Subject” at LIGHTWELL in Taipei, Taiwan (2021); “Plain Air” at Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2021); “Nasty Women” at Gavlak in Los Angeles, California (2020); “Certain Women” at Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art in Houston, Texas (2019); “In the Summertime” at Danese/Corey in New York, New York (2019); “Summer of Love” at Freight + Volume in New York, New York (2018); and “American Genre: Contemporary Painting” at MECA in Portland, Maine (2017).
Work by Brown is held in numerous public collections, including De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts; Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas; Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Florida; the Hall Art Foundation at Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg in Derneburg, Germany; Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Florida; the Laura and John Arnold Foundation; JP Morgan Chase Art Collection in New York, New York; Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in Boston, Massachusetts; and United States Dept. of State, U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Columbia.
Deborah Brown lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.