Brian Scott Campbell portrait - image courtesy of the artist

Brian Scott Campbell

United States 1983


Brian Scott Campbell
Brian Scott Campbell
United States
January 19, 2015
Music, Gestalt, .

Brian Scott Campbell is a young contemporary artist with a very specific visual language. Campbell was born in 1983 in Columbus, OH and currently lives and works in Joshua Tree, California. Campbell recently relocated to the high desert after living in Santa Barbara, California, and prior to that in New York. He received a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design (2005) and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, NJ (2010). He has been included in exhibitions at Dutton Gallery, NY Asya Geisberg Gallery, NY, Metropolitan Art Society, Beirut, (Curated by Suzanne Geiss Co. NY), Jeff Bailey Gallery, NY, David Shelton Gallery, TX, Circuit 12 Contemporary, TX, and Untitled, Miami Beach among others.

Brian Scott Campbell - Click Clack, 2015 (Left)- Meaning of Life, 2015 (Right)
Brian Scott Campbell – Click Clack, 2015 (Left) / Meaning of Life, 2015 (Right)

Finding the Inspiration

Campbell’s work owes a great deal to the Chicago Imagists, or Hairy Who artists, such as Jim Nutt and Karl Winsum, pop artists, such as John Wesley and early Sigmar Polke, as well as late Phillip Guston. Campbell’s recent work also calls to mind the great Modern ‘Outsider’ painters, such as Dubuffet and Rousseau, as well as outsider-influenced modern painters, such as Paul Klee. Campbell seems to derive further inspiration for the most energetic works from the Italian Futurist painters, such as Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. However, despite the clear interest in modern painting and expressionism, Campbell is dedicated to the mechanical application of traditional drawing materials. All of Campbell’s works are on paper and employ liquid graphite washes and pencil, as well as ink or gouache applied with brushes. The drawings are limited to monochrome yet employ an indulgent use of techniques and tools from printing with socks and underwear, to painting with graphite washes through spray bottles and rollers. The silvery gray tones in these drawings display delicate lines with great sensitivity, yet the works remain frenetic and primitive. These works are precise and tight at times, and often they are wild, unwieldy, and unruly.

Campbell earned his bachelor degree at Columbus College of Art and Design

Brian Scott Campbell - Dear Dad, 2015 (Left) - Badroomate, 2015 (Right)
Brian Scott Campbell – Dear Dad, 2015 (Left) / Badroomate, 2015 (Right)

Campbell’s Drawings

Campbell begin’s the drawing and painting process with a fast, gestural sketch, or possibly a few written words, short prose, or title. Campbell keeps a sketchbook, but it is often cheap newsprint paper, or A4 computer paper, bound together within a binder. Campbell’s subject matter ranges within his recent work (2014-2016), focusing on the abstracted figure in motion. These figures are often drawing themselves, sweating in the artist studio, or jotting a note onto paper in a frenzy, and sometimes visibly distraught. He has focused on drawing figures that are either running or playing a sport. The limbs and appendages of the figures are languorous, exaggerated, stretching across the boundaries of the frame, or flying out of the frame. The results are highly energetic, and exuberant.

His work oscillates between surrealism and pop art

Brian Scott Campbell - Self-Portrait (Left) - Lady With Wig, 2015 (Right)
Brian Scott Campbell – Self-Portrait (Left) / Lady With Wig, 2015 (Right)

Moving towards abstraction

Campbell’s work has shifted in subject matter in the last several years, moving away from landscapes and still-life. His drawings have become increasingly more abstract and less persuasively representational over the years. Campbell recently presented his first solo show at Dutton Gallery in New York and is included in a show that opens next month at Fredericks & Freiser in New York.

Brian Scott Campbell lives and works in Joshua Tree, California.

Featured image: Brian Scott Campbell – Artist portrait
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Local SinglesDutton Gallery, New YorkSolo
2016Four artistsFredericks & Freiser Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015PRTY PPL Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas, TXGroup
2014In The Office Of The Drunken Monkey TSA Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Group
2014Paradise Sauna TSA LA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Forever Metropolitan Art Society, (Curated by The Suzanne Geiss Company) Beirut, LebanonGroup
2014Phantom Color CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2014I Against I David Shelton Gallery, (With Jamian Juliano-Villani and Erik Schoonebeek) Houston TXGroup
2013Hard Lines Soft Vibes Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013Sacred & Profane Love Machine Ortega Y Gasset Projects, New York, NYGroup
2012I've Got Levitation Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CAGroup
2012Your Face Is A Landscape Field Projects, New York, NY Group
2011No Land Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2011Intuitive Realities Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY Group
2011AIM Biennial Bronx Calling, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NYGroup
2010Off The Map (MFA Show), White Box Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2010MFA Thesis Mason Gross Gallery, New Brunswick, NJGroup
2009Anonymous Drawings Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009Hit It BigThe MFA Welcome Back Show, Mason Gross Gallery, New Brunswick, NJGroup
2008Empires Roy G. Biv Gallery, Columbus, OHGroup
2008Night of 1,000 Drawings Artists Space Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008First Year MFA Exhibition Mason Gross Gallery, New Brunswick, NJGroup
2007Art Now Fair (Viveza Gallery), Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL Group
2007New Work Viveza Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2005American Drawing Biennial VIIIMuscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VAGroup
2005BFA Thesis Canzani Center Gallery, Columbus, OHGroup
2004New Work Mahan Gallery, Columbus, OHGroup
2003Small WorksRoy G. Biv Gallery, Columbus, OHGroup