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Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 1996 Oil on board, 24 × 18 inches (61 × 45.7 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 1996

Oil on board, 24 × 18 inches (61 × 45.7 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 1997–98 Oil on linen, 76 × 98 inches (193 × 248.9 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 1997–98

Oil on linen, 76 × 98 inches (193 × 248.9 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Tender Trap II, 1998 Oil on linen, 76 × 98 ¼ inches (193 × 249.5 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Tender Trap II, 1998

Oil on linen, 76 × 98 ¼ inches (193 × 249.5 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Tender Is the Night, 1999 Oil on linen, 100 × 110 inches (254 × 279.4 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Tender Is the Night, 1999

Oil on linen, 100 × 110 inches (254 × 279.4 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Performance, 1999 Oil on linen, 100 × 110 inches (254 × 279.4 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Performance, 1999

Oil on linen, 100 × 110 inches (254 × 279.4 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Foxglove, 2001 Oil on linen, 48 × 60 inches (121.9 × 152.4 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Foxglove, 2001

Oil on linen, 48 × 60 inches (121.9 × 152.4 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Figure in a Landscape, 2002 Oil on linen, 80 × 80 inches (203.2 × 203.2 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Figure in a Landscape, 2002

Oil on linen, 80 × 80 inches (203.2 × 203.2 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Black Painting No. 1, 2002 Oil on linen, 80 × 90 inches (203.2 × 228.6 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Black Painting No. 1, 2002

Oil on linen, 80 × 90 inches (203.2 × 228.6 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Girl Eating Birds, 2004 Oil on linen, 77 × 165 inches (195.6 × 419.1 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Girl Eating Birds, 2004

Oil on linen, 77 × 165 inches (195.6 × 419.1 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 2005 Oil on linen, 77 × 55 inches (195.6 × 139.7 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 2005

Oil on linen, 77 × 55 inches (195.6 × 139.7 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Picnic, 2006 Oil on linen, 97 × 123 inches (246.4 × 312.4 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Picnic, 2006

Oil on linen, 97 × 123 inches (246.4 × 312.4 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Memento Mori 2, 2006–08 Oil on linen, 85 × 89 inches (215.9 × 226.1 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Memento Mori 2, 2006–08

Oil on linen, 85 × 89 inches (215.9 × 226.1 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Sick Leaves, 2011 Oil on linen, in 3 parts, each: 103 × 83 inches (261.6 × 210.8 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Sick Leaves, 2011

Oil on linen, in 3 parts, each: 103 × 83 inches (261.6 × 210.8 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 2012 Oil on linen, 89 × 85 inches (226.1 × 215.9 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Untitled, 2012

Oil on linen, 89 × 85 inches (226.1 × 215.9 cm)
© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, Combing the Hair (Côte d’Azur), 2013 Oil on linen, 109 × 113 inches (276.9 × 287 cm)© Cecily Brown. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cecily Brown, Combing the Hair (Côte d’Azur), 2013

Oil on linen, 109 × 113 inches (276.9 × 287 cm)
© Cecily Brown. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cecily Brown, The Wallflower, 2014 Oil on linen, 31 × 43 inches (78.7 × 109.2 cm)© Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown, The Wallflower, 2014

Oil on linen, 31 × 43 inches (78.7 × 109.2 cm)
© Cecily Brown

About

The place I’m interested in is where the mind goes when it’s trying to make up for what isn’t there.
—Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown makes paintings that give the appearance of being in continual flux, alive with the erotic energy of her expressive application and vivid color, shifting restlessly between abstract and figurative modes. Making reference to the giants of Western painting—from Paolo Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens, and Edgar Degas to Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, and Joan Mitchell—as well as to popular culture, she commands an aesthetic that breaks from the strictures of narrative to achieve an extraordinary visual and thematic fluidity. Her vigorous treatment of the nude figure in particular reveals a commitment to wresting conventional subjects free from their anticipated contexts. Punctuating her visual shorthand with moments of startling clarity, Brown maintains an endless, active present.

Raised in suburban Surrey, England, Brown studied under painter Maggi Hambling before attending art college. Her graduation from the Slade School of Fine Art in the early 1990s coincided with the rise of the Young British Artists but she didn’t share the group’s conceptual focus, ironic stance, and embrace of celebrity culture. Having spent six months in New York as an exchange student in 1992, she returned there to live in 1994, and, alongside contemporaries such as John Currin, helped to invest figurative painting with a renewed energy and critical significance that has continued to gather momentum.

Key to the success of Brown’s aesthetic is her ability to seemingly transform paint into flesh, embedding the human form within a frenzied, fragmented commentary on desire, life, and death. Her first major body of painting, from the mid-1990s, juxtaposes hedonistic rabbits with allusions to the still-life tradition; eventually, this led to the orgiastic scenes that would garner her wide and enduring recognition. In Brown’s hands, paint seems always to be in transition between liquid and solid, transparent and opaque states, and this material ballet is reflected in compositions themselves. “I think that painting is a kind of alchemy,” she has said. “The paint is transformed into image, and paint and image transform themselves into a third and new thing.”

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Fairs, Events & Announcements

Still from “Cecily Brown: The History”

Video

Cecily Brown: The History
Frieze New York 2020 Online Viewing Room

Overall, we have a sense of a surface alive with impressions of marks and traces held momentarily in equilibrium.
—John Elderfield

John Elderfield reflects on the relationship between Cecily Brown’s monumental painting and art history, including the work of Nicolas Poussin, Willem de Kooning, and others.

Still from “Cecily Brown: The History”

Still from “Cecily Brown: The Market”

Video

Cecily Brown: The Market
Frieze New York 2020 Online Viewing Room

It’s an iconic masterpiece that looks back in dialogue with our history and will hold up for generations to come, a masterpiece for the twenty-first century.
—Deborah McLeod

Gagosian director Deborah McLeod discusses Cecily Brown’s market ascent and just what makes Figures in a Landscape 1 (2001) so desirable.

Still from “Cecily Brown: The Market”

Cecily Brown, Figures in a Landscape 1, 2001 © Cecily Brown

Online Viewing Room

Cecily Brown
Frieze New York 2020

May 4–10, 2020
gagosianviewingroom.com

On the occasion of the online edition of Frieze New York, Gagosian is pleased to offer an important painting by Cecily Brown in its Online Viewing Room. Made in 2001, the work is from a crucial moment in Brown’s development of her exuberant yet elusive figuration—the breakthrough period of her ascent that is best represented in global museums and most desired by collectors. This special offering is a rare chance to acquire one of the most celebrated and exhibited paintings from this formative period.

Cecily Brown, Figures in a Landscape 1, 2001 © Cecily Brown

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Museum Exhibitions

Glenn Brown, Layered Portrait (after Lucian Freud) 4, 2008 © Glenn Brown

On View

(Re)Print
Five Projects

Opening April 30, 2020
International Print Center New York
www.ipcny.org

This online exhibition, centered on works by Mark Bradford, Cecily Brown, Glenn Brown, Enrique Chagoya, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, opens a dialogue between contemporary prints and the source material referenced. (Re)Print examines how artists revise, recontextualize, and personalize familiar imagery to elicit new thinking. Further, the pairings express the dynamic relationship between contemporary practice and the historical role that prints have played in image reproduction and dissemination, and in the shaping of history, culture, and beliefs.

Glenn Brown, Layered Portrait (after Lucian Freud) 4, 2008 © Glenn Brown

Installation view, No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017. Artwork, left to right: © Mary Weatherford, © Kerstin Brätsch, © Sonia Gomes

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No Man’s Land
Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection

September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
nmwa.org

Drawing from the Rubell Family Collection, the paintings and sculptural hybrids in N0 Man’s Land demonstrate the expressive and technical range of work by a generationally, aesthetically, and politically diverse group of contemporary women artists. Collectively, they populate “no man’s land”—an open, liberated, and adaptable creative space. The presentation focuses on the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture as a way to highlight how women artists have pushed and redefined the boundaries of such categories. Work by Cecily Brown, Jennifer Guidi, and Mary Weatherford is included.

Installation view, No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017. Artwork, left to right: © Mary Weatherford, © Kerstin Brätsch, © Sonia Gomes