1951 · United States
A master of the blend of primitive forms and early Modernist approaches in his semi-figurative works, American artist James Brown offers a new take on abstraction as he explores both organic and geometric form in painting as well as other media.
Emphasizing the non-realistic, Brown’s works become a study in line, color, and abstraction as the viewer is asked to discern between loose suggestions – the contours of a face, for example – and mere strokes of creative expression. Amidst these explorations, Brown also contemplates the tensions of order and chaos, at times maintaining a painterly surface defined by utmost tradition while at others allowing the amorphous and undefined to dominate. As such his works reflect Brown’s ongoing interest in the spiritual and the celestial, a connection reinforced with his “Firmament Series,” which he debuted at the Galerie Karsten Greve in Paris in 2007.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Brown enjoyed his most formative years of artistic training as a student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the closing years of the 1970s. Becoming enamored with the language and visual intensity of modernist expression, particularly the imagery of the Art Brut movement, Brown used those themes to develop a body of work that was soon to be showcased around the globe. Still very much an active part of the art world from his home bases in Mexico and France, Brown’s works are treasured in collections both private and public, including the Museum of Modern Art of New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.