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Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, “The Pornography of Death”—Painting for Ian Curtis (copied from “Floating Cities” 1981 by Chris Foss), 1995 Oil on canvas, 86 ½ × 129 ¼ inches (220 × 328 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, “The Pornography of Death”—Painting for Ian Curtis (copied from “Floating Cities” 1981 by Chris Foss), 1995

Oil on canvas, 86 ½ × 129 ¼ inches (220 × 328 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, You Take My Place in This Showdown, 1996 Oil on canvas, 84 ⅝ × 126 ¾ inches (214.9 × 321.9 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, You Take My Place in This Showdown, 1996

Oil on canvas, 84 ⅝ × 126 ¾ inches (214.9 × 321.9 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, The Loves of Shepherds (after “Doublestar” by Tony Roberts), 2000 Oil on canvas, 86 ½ × 132 ¼ inches (219.5 × 336 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, The Loves of Shepherds (after “Doublestar” by Tony Roberts), 2000

Oil on canvas, 86 ½ × 132 ¼ inches (219.5 × 336 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Dirty, 2003 Oil on panel, 41 ¼ × 32 ¾ inches (105 × 83 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Dirty, 2003

Oil on panel, 41 ¼ × 32 ¾ inches (105 × 83 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Architecture and Morality, 2004 Oil on panel, 55 ⅛ × 38 ⅝ inches (140 × 98 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Architecture and Morality, 2004

Oil on panel, 55 ⅛ × 38 ⅝ inches (140 × 98 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Wild Horses, 2007 Oil on panel, 52 ⅜ × 40 ¼ inches (133 × 102 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Wild Horses, 2007

Oil on panel, 52 ⅜ × 40 ¼ inches (133 × 102 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Suffer Well, 2007 Oil on panel, 61 ⅞ × 47 ¼ inches (157 × 120 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Suffer Well, 2007

Oil on panel, 61 ⅞ × 47 ¼ inches (157 × 120 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Some Velvet Morning When I’m Straight I'm Going to Open Up Your Gates, 2007 Oil on panel, 87 ⅜ × 58 ⅜ inches (222 × 148 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Some Velvet Morning When I’m Straight I'm Going to Open Up Your Gates, 2007

Oil on panel, 87 ⅜ × 58 ⅜ inches (222 × 148 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Wooden Heart, 2008 Oil paint on acrylic medium on metal armature, 35 × 58 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ inches (89 × 148 × 70 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Wooden Heart, 2008

Oil paint on acrylic medium on metal armature, 35 × 58 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ inches (89 × 148 × 70 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Christina of Denmark, 2008 Oil on panel, 65 × 46 ⅞ inches (165 × 119 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Christina of Denmark, 2008

Oil on panel, 65 × 46 ⅞ inches (165 × 119 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Burlesque, 2008 Oil on panel, 48 ¼ × 79 ⅞ inches (122.5 × 203 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Burlesque, 2008

Oil on panel, 48 ¼ × 79 ⅞ inches (122.5 × 203 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Layered Portrait (after Urs Graf) 1, 2008 Etching on Velin Arches 300gsm paper, 15 ⅞ × 11 ⅞ inches (40.5 × 30 cm), edition of 30© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Layered Portrait (after Urs Graf) 1, 2008

Etching on Velin Arches 300gsm paper, 15 ⅞ × 11 ⅞ inches (40.5 × 30 cm), edition of 30
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Spearmint Rhino, 2009 Oil on panel, 76 ½ × 102 ½ inches (194 × 260 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Spearmint Rhino, 2009

Oil on panel, 76 ½ × 102 ½ inches (194 × 260 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Star Dust, 2009 Oil on panel, 60 ¾ × 48 inches (154 × 122 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Star Dust, 2009

Oil on panel, 60 ¾ × 48 inches (154 × 122 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Cactus Land, 2012 Oil on panel, 67 × 55 ⅞ inches (170 × 142 cm)© Glenn Brown. Photo: Mike Bruce

Glenn Brown, Cactus Land, 2012

Oil on panel, 67 × 55 ⅞ inches (170 × 142 cm)
© Glenn Brown. Photo: Mike Bruce

Glenn Brown, Drawing 39 (after Greuze), 2014 India ink on Pergamenata paper, 19 ¾ × 13 ¾ inches (50 × 35 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Drawing 39 (after Greuze), 2014

India ink on Pergamenata paper, 19 ¾ × 13 ¾ inches (50 × 35 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Marie Berna/Die Toteninsel (The Isle of the Dead), 2014 Oil on panel, 63 × 39 ⅜ inches (160 × 100 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Marie Berna/Die Toteninsel (The Isle of the Dead), 2014

Oil on panel, 63 × 39 ⅜ inches (160 × 100 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, The Glory of Spain, 2014 Oil paint over acrylic paint and bronze, 49 ¼ × 28 ⅜ × 28 ⅜ inches (125 × 72 × 72 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, The Glory of Spain, 2014

Oil paint over acrylic paint and bronze, 49 ¼ × 28 ⅜ × 28 ⅜ inches (125 × 72 × 72 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Woman II, 2015 Oil paint over acrylic, steel structure and bronze with marble base and vitrine, 38 ⅝ × 13 ¾ × 13 ¾ inches (98 × 35 × 35 cm)© Glenn Brown. Photo: Mike Bruce

Glenn Brown, Woman II, 2015

Oil paint over acrylic, steel structure and bronze with marble base and vitrine, 38 ⅝ × 13 ¾ × 13 ¾ inches (98 × 35 × 35 cm)
© Glenn Brown. Photo: Mike Bruce

Glenn Brown, Drawing 36 (after Flinck), 2015 India ink and acrylic on panel, 33 ¾ × 23 ⅝ inches (85.5 × 60 cm)© Glenn Brown. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Glenn Brown, Drawing 36 (after Flinck), 2015

India ink and acrylic on panel, 33 ¾ × 23 ⅝ inches (85.5 × 60 cm)
© Glenn Brown. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Glenn Brown, Drawing 6 (after Murillo/Murillo), 2015 India ink and acrylic on beech plywood panel, 30 × 19 ⅞ inches (76.1 × 50.5 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Drawing 6 (after Murillo/Murillo), 2015

India ink and acrylic on beech plywood panel, 30 × 19 ⅞ inches (76.1 × 50.5 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, On the Way to the Leisure Centre, 2017 Oil on panel, 48 ⅛ × 96 ⅛ inches (122 × 244 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, On the Way to the Leisure Centre, 2017

Oil on panel, 48 ⅛ × 96 ⅛ inches (122 × 244 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Children of the Revolution (after Rembrandt), 2017 India ink and acrylic on polyester film over cardboard, in Italian 17th-century carved and gilded overlapping leaf frame with later gilded arch-topped spandrel, 42 ¾ × 27 ¾ × 2 ⅛ inches (108.5 × 70.5 × 5.5 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Children of the Revolution (after Rembrandt), 2017

India ink and acrylic on polyester film over cardboard, in Italian 17th-century carved and gilded overlapping leaf frame with later gilded arch-topped spandrel, 42 ¾ × 27 ¾ × 2 ⅛ inches (108.5 × 70.5 × 5.5 cm)
© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Drawing 1 (after Bloemaert), 2018 India ink and acrylic on film over panel, in likely Genoese 17th-century fully carved frame with scrolling leaves, 30 ¾ × 35 ⅛ × 2 ⅜ inches (78 × 89.3 × 6 cm)© Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown, Drawing 1 (after Bloemaert), 2018

India ink and acrylic on film over panel, in likely Genoese 17th-century fully carved frame with scrolling leaves, 30 ¾ × 35 ⅛ × 2 ⅜ inches (78 × 89.3 × 6 cm)
© Glenn Brown

About

I like my paintings to have one foot in the grave, to be not quite of this world. For me they exist in a dream world, a world that is made up of all the accumulated images stored in our subconscious that coagulate and mutate when we sleep.
—Glenn Brown

Mining art history and popular culture, Glenn Brown has created an artistic language that eschews categorization, fusing a wide range of time periods and pictorial conventions through reference, appropriation, and precise attention to detail. His mannerist impulses stem from a desire to breathe new life into history, using its forms as vehicles for his exploration of paint.

As an art student at Goldsmiths College, London, in the 1980s, Brown wrestled with the idea that painting had reached its end, as artists, critics, and scholars were then proclaiming. Seeking a future for painting despite its historical baggage, he made illusionistic versions of the thickly painted works of Frank Auerbach and Karel Appel, rendering their layered impasto in smoothly detailed two-dimensional brushstrokes.

Brown sources images from the internet, books, and other printed materials, distorting and manipulating them. In the 1990s he created several paintings based on science fiction novels drawing inspiration from sci-fi illustrations of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the apocalyptic scenes created by painter and illustrator John Martin. In these works Brown combined panoramic and close-up views, a technique he would later apply to depictions of the body and flesh, alluding to works by Salvador Dalí, Willem de Kooning, Chaim Soutine, and others.

As a complement to his painting practice, he creates sculptures by accumulating thick layers of oil paint over structures or found bronze casts. Brown has also produced detailed drawings in which he further explores the uncanny juxtapositions seen in his paintings. Since 2013 he has increased his engagement with drawing’s tactility, using different types of lines, shadings, and strokes in order to reinterpret the age-old tradition of copying historical subjects as a learning tool. His drawings reinforce the importance of gesture, echoing the layered lines of Old Master sketches.

Many of Brown’s titles make reference to literature, film, or individuals. Though not overtly related to the content of the paintings, drawings, and sculptures they name, the titles assert a directness that parallels Brown’s subject matter. In this way, he combines textual and visual reference as a means to update art history and perception.

Exhibitions such as the British Museum’s Historical Baggage: Glenn Brown and His Sources (2018) have made the links between Brown’s works and those from which he draws inspiration even more apparent. The show paired early portraits based on prints by Rembrandt van Rijn and Lucian Freud with Brown’s 2012 series Half-Life, a new engagement with Rembrandt’s work, revealing Brown’s intricate technical evolution over the past decade.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Book Launch

Visions of the Self
Rembrandt and Now

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 6:30–8:30pm
Kenwood House, London
www.english-heritage.org.uk

In the interest of public health, this event has been postponed until further notice.

Gagosian is pleased to host a drinks reception to celebrate the release of Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now, published on the occasion of the recent eponymous exhibition at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London. Organized in partnership with English Heritage, the exhibition places Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles (c. 1665) in dialogue with self-portraits by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Picasso, as well as leading contemporary artists such as Georg Baselitz, Glenn Brown, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Giuseppe Penone, Richard Prince, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, and Rudolf Stingel, among others. The catalogue includes an introduction by Wendy Monkhouse, senior curator at English Heritage, and a text by art historian David Freedberg. To attend the free event, RSVP to londonevents@gagosian.com. Space is limited.

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Glenn Brown with his painting In the end we all succumb to the pull of the molten core (2016). Photo: Edgar Laguinia

Honor

Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2019 birthday honors list for his service to the arts. The title CBE is bestowed to individuals who have made distinct and innovative contributions to the United Kingdom. 

Glenn Brown with his painting In the end we all succumb to the pull of the molten core (2016). Photo: Edgar Laguinia

Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, c. 1665, English Heritage, The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood, London). Photo: Historic England Photo Library

Tour

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now
In partnership with English Heritage

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6pm
Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London

Gagosian director and art historian Richard Calvocoressi will lead a tour of the exhibition Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London. Calvocoressi will take a look at postwar and contemporary masters of self-representation, anchoring the conversation to an important Rembrandt masterpiece included in the exhibition, Self-Portrait with Two Circles (c. 1665). The event has reached capacity. To join the wait list, contact londontours@gagosian.com.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, c. 1665, English Heritage, The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood, London). Photo: Historic England Photo Library

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Museum Exhibitions

Jenny Saville, Black Mass (after Leonardo), 2008 © Jenny Saville

On View

Inspiration
Iconic Works

Through September 20, 2020
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
www.nationalmuseum.se

This exhibition presents contemporary art that draws inspiration from historic masterpieces. A selection of paintings, plaster sculptures, drawings, graphic prints, and applied arts from Nationalmuseum’s vast collections are displayed in dialogue with contemporary objects. Work by Glenn Brown, Jeff Koons, Jenny Saville, and Cindy Sherman is included.

Jenny Saville, Black Mass (after Leonardo), 2008 © Jenny Saville

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

Rachel Whiteread, Pink, 1993 © Rachel Whiteread

Closed

Pushing Paper
Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now

September 12, 2019–January 12, 2020
British Museum, London
britishmuseum.org

Celebrating drawing in its own right, rather than its historic role as preparatory to painting, this exhibition explores how contemporary artists have used drawing to examine themes including identity, place, and memory. Work by Glenn Brown, Ellen Gallagher, Anselm Kiefer, and Rachel Whiteread is included.

Rachel Whiteread, Pink, 1993 © Rachel Whiteread

Glenn Brown, Passchendaele, 2017 © Glenn Brown

Closed

Glenn Brown

October 10–December 9, 2019
Musée national Eugène-Delacroix, Paris
www.musee-delacroix.fr

Glenn Brown’s work transcends time and pictorial conventions, disarming common distinctions between good and bad taste, beauty and abjection, and heightening the emotive tension present within. In this exhibition at the Musée national Eugène-Delacroix, which is an affiliate of the Musée du Louvre, Brown presents new works, with an emphasis on drawing, as well as a large sculpture inspired by Delacroix, among other artists, in association with FIAC 2019.

Glenn Brown, Passchendaele, 2017 © Glenn Brown

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Press

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