Glenn Brown - Artist's portrait (detail) - Photo by Will Corry

Glenn Brown/ Glenn Brown

United Kingdom 1966

Sculpture, Painting, Prints, Drawing

glenn-brown.co.uk

Glenn Brown
Glenn Brown
Male
United Kingdom
1966

Using the art historical and popular culture references, Glenn Brown creates a distinctive visual language that goes beyond known pictorial conventions. Through appropriation and investigation, the artist breathes new life and contemporary look into old and outdated forms. Merging the various epochs such as Renaissance, Impressionism or Surrealism, his works gradually develop and although start from reproductions of other artists, they become compelling independent entities. This British artist transforms borrowed images by changing its color, position, and size, creating abstract and grotesque, still fascinating figures that seem to be painted with impasto technique, but the effect is actually accomplished with the application of thin, spiral brushstrokes which create a completely flat surface[1].

 They like exhibition at tate
Glenn Brown – Darsham Songs, 2016

Reviving the History of Art

Brown was born in 1966 in Northumberland, England. He gained his education at Norwich School of Art, Bath College of Higher Education and Goldsmith’s College at the University of London. Starting from the appropriation – borrowing the pieces of living or historical artists, he transforms their appearance, adjusting color and forms and creating a totally new body of work. Exploit the reproductions usually found on the internet, he changes the image using the Photoshop, making different distortions, stretching, turning and changing the color of both objects and the surface. “I am rather like a Dr. Frankenstein, constructing paintings out of the residue or dead parts of other artist’s work. I hope to create a sense of strangeness by bringing together examples of the way the best historic and modern-day artists have depicted their personal sense of the world. I see their worlds from multiple or schizophrenic perspectives, through all their eyes. Their sources of inspiration suggest things I would never normally see – rocks floating in far-off galaxies, for example, or a bowl of flowers in an 18th-century room, or a child in a fancy-dress costume. It’s those fictions that I take as subject matter. The scenes may have been relatively normal to Rembrandt or Fragonard but because of the passage of time and the difference in culture, to me they are fantastical.” When he finds convenient composition, he approaches to applying of paint in a very specific way, making the illusion of thick and heavy layers with the thin brushes and elongated twisted strokes, achieving the opposite effect of flat, digitally processed surface[2]. Making the sky become red, the trees blue or sea purple, Brown provokes the viewer’s perception, creating everything to be the opposite of the expectations, but instead of being unreal, his images actually emphasize reality describing something that exists, but has not seen yet. Still, his newer body of work, he is more concentrated on drawing with no color at all and some black and white paintings[3]. One more characteristic of his work are titles that also use references, but this time to music albums, films, science fiction literature or sometimes dedication to a person. They are supposed to complement the artwork instead of being pure description or explanation. “That’s it – the titles are often trying to be embarrassingly direct, and vulgar in their directness. I don’t think that the painting is less direct, but I don’t want the paintings to be illustrative.”

Brown appropriates the pieces of living or historical artists, transforms it and creates a totally new body of work

 Contact him and ask about home privacy
Glenn Brown – Life On the Moon, 2016 (Left) / In My Time of Dying, 2014 (Right)

Paintings, Sculptures, Prints, and Drawings

Ranging from science-fiction landscapes on his early works, over abstractions and still lives to figurative pieces appropriated from existing ones, Brown’s paintings have a common morbid atmosphere, emphasized by unusual appearances of unnatural skin colors that suggest the smell and decay of the figure bodies. The artist strives to create the dream world images with the mutated creatures from our subconscious that come to life when we sleep. These amorphous beings are ironically decorated with different attributes, as flowers growing out of their body or halos above their heads.

In a total contrast to his painted artworks, sculptures make a minor but considerable part of his oeuvre, having all the technical features that paintings deny. Emphasizing the dimensionality of oil brushstrokes, they are made of several layers of paint applied over acrylic and fiberglass structures or found bronze sculptures. “I see the sculptural brush marks as challenging the logic of paint in that they appear to defy gravity by actually staying upright. For me, they exist within a surreal world that is based on getting paint to do something it shouldn’t do, and to sit in a three-dimensional world that it shouldn’t be in.”

During 2008, inspired by artists Urs Graf, Rembrandt, and Lucian Freud, Brown made series of prints, Layered Etchings (Portraits), digitally manipulating borrowed book reproductions so to stretch them to normal size, then overlapping selected scans that created one image for which were made several etching plates. Using up to fifteen different images for one portrait, intertwined lines and contours blurred the individual characteristics of his subjects. Discussing the idea of destruction and violence in the process of appropriation, John-Paul Stonard wrote a text that followed his etchings collected in publication Glenn Brown: Etchings (Portraits) from 2009.

Since 2013, Brown decided to devote his attention to still unexplored medium – drawing. Using the Indian ink, acrylic and oil paints on paper and panel and the same characteristic approach, he again started from the art historical references that he combines and distorts with the aim of creating complex line-based works.

Brown’s sculptures are made of several layers of paint applied over acrylic and fiberglass structures or found bronze sculptures

 They enjoy exhibition and privacy of home
Glenn Brown – The Flowers of Arles, 2016 (Left) / L’arlesienne, 2016 (Right)

What is Appropriation Art?

Although he claims that the references to these artists are not direct quotations, but remakes and combinations of several paintings, the artists whose work is appropriated do not always agree. In 2000, he was nominated for the Turner Prize, but the Times newspaper accused him of plagiarism, considering his references to a work by Anthony Roberts, which resulted in the legal case and their final settlement out of the court. The Turner Prize went to the other artist, photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. Appropriation is a widely adopted and employed approach and operative term in the history of contemporary art and many prominent artists based their visual language on the use of that, such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Roy Lichtenstein. As the artist himself stated, there is no possibility that one man is completely original, considering the fact that all artists borrow from the past, looking up to their role models. Contradicting the idea of an avant-garde that propagated the return to the pure, childish level of communication with the aim of expressing the inner-self and raw emotion, Brown claims that artist could only mimic the child’s creation, essentially revealing his meaningful approach through the sophisticated use of color.

His references to other artists are not direct quotations

 contact british people from liverpool and ask if they like exhibition at tate
Glenn Brown – Sizewell C, 2016

Glenn Brown or How Old Becomes New

Influenced by French Post-Structuralist philosophy, Brown thinks that rich knowledge when observing a work of art can prevent the viewer from understanding and feeling the emotional content. His specific technique liberates from classical linear form and static state, transforming artwork into an evolving entity. He takes over iconic works and through opposites, humor, destruction, and the tendency over decomposition of the human form, the artist takes apart found images presenting them in a new way. Perceived as the ultimate Mannerist painter, Glenn Brown often confuses his audience with exaggerated and grotesque forms created through his play with known visual language from Renaissance to the 20th century. His impressive technical virtuosity is reflected in the use of the traditional technique of oil that seems completely different, achieving the illusion of thick layers of paint on the flat surface[4]. Brown’s distinctive dialogue with art history expresses highly personal commentary on painting. Brown’s work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions including Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d’Art Contemporain, France (2000), Serpentine Gallery, London (2004), Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2008), Tate Liverpool, England (2009), which travelled to the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin and Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2013), Rennie Collection, Vancouver (2013), Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles (2016), Des Moines Art Center, Cincinnati (2016), and upcoming shows at the Rembrandt House, Amsterdam (2017). He has also been exhibited in number of group shows including The Saatchi Gallery (1995, 2014), Centre Georges Pompidou (2002, 2013), Venice Bienalle, Italian Pavillion, (2003), Gwangju Bienalle, Korea (2010), Kunsthalle, Vienna (2011), Galerie Rudolfinium, Prague (2012), Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain (2013) and Centre George Pompidou Malaga (2015), among the others.

The artist is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, London and Beverly Hills and Me Collectors Room in Berlin.

Glenn Brown lives and works in London and Suffolk, England.

Featured image: Glenn Brown – Artist’s portrait (detail) – Photo by Will Corry
All images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Glenn BrownDes Moines Art Center, IowaSolo
2016Suffer Well: Glenn BrownFoundation Vincent van Gogh, ArlesSolo
2015FobofiliaFondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, TurinGroup
2015HomelandSimon Lee Gallery - Hong KongGroup
2015Beverly Hills 20-Year Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, 1995–2015Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CAGroup
2015Glenn BrownGalerie Max Hetzler - ParisSolo
2014Carte blance à Christian Lacroix Cognacq-Jay Museum, Museum of 18th Century Art, Paris, FranceGroup
2014Cool Place. Sammlung Scharpff Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, GermanyGroup
2014Stanze - Rooms, me Collectors Room Stiftung Olbricht, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2014Visage: Picasso, Magritte, Warhol... Centre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille (catalogue), FranceGroup
2014UntitledGagosian Gallery, New York, USA Solo
2014SHE: Picturing women at the turn of the 21st century, Bell Gallery and Cohen Gallery, Granoff Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USAGroup
2013Riotus Baroque, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, SpainGroup
2013Glenn Brown and Rebecca Warren, Rennie Collection at Win Sang, Vancouver, CanadaSolo
2013UntitledFrans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The NetherlandsSolo
2012Portrait of the Artist As..., Coutrauld Institute of Art, London, UKGroup
2012SNAP, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, UKGroup
2012Beyond Reality: British Painting Today, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2012UntitledUpton House, Oxfordshire, UKSolo
2012The Mechanical Hand: Pauper Press 25 Years, King's Place Gallery, London, travelling to Newcastle, UKGroup
2012Mash Up: Collage from 1930 to the present, L&M Arts, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2012The Space Between, Karsten Schubert, London, UKGroup
2011John Martin: Apocalypse, Tate Britain, London, UKGroup
2011Nothing in the World But Youth, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UKGroup
2011Figures in a Landscape, Gagosian Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2011Memories of the Future. The Olbricht Collection, La Maison Rouge, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Le Surréalisme, c'est moi!, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2011Glenn Brown: Etchings and Sculpture, Gagosian Gallery, Geneva, SwitzerlandSolo
2011UntitledGalerie Max Hetzler Temporary (cat.), Berlin, GermanySolo
2011Unscharf- Nach Gerhard Richter,Blurred- After Gerhard Richter, Hamburger Kunstalle, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2011Dystopia, Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm, travelling to Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, SwedenGroup
201010,000 Lives, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Gwangui Biennale, KoreaGroup
2010A GROUP PAINTING SHOW, Patrick Painter, Santa Monica, USAGroup
2010Vanité: Mort, Que Me Veuy-Tu?, curated by Alain Tapié (cat.), Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Summer Exhibition, room curated by Fiona Rae, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UKGroup
2010Seconde Main-Second Hand, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Head, Approach Gallery, London, UKGroup
2010Grand National, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, NorwayGroup
2010Behind the Mask, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UKGroup
2010Art: curated by Michael Craig-Martin, Galerie Haas & Fuchs (cat.), Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Crash, Gagosian Gallery (cat.), London, UKGroup
2009UntitledLudwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art (cat.), Budapest, HungarySolo
2009Just what is it …, curated by Götz Adriani, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, GermanyGroup
2009Surface Reality, Laing Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear Museums, Newcastle upon Tyne, UKGroup
2009Mapping the Studio: Artists form the François Pinault Collection (cat.), Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, Venice, ItalyGroup
2009UntitledGagosian Gallery (cat.), London, UK Solo
2009Etchings (Portraits), Karsten Schubert (cat.), London, UK Solo
2009UntitledTate Gallery, Liverpool, UKSolo
2009Art Now: Beating The Bounds, Tate Britain, London, UKGroup
2009Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (cat.), Turin, Italy Solo
2008Editions and a Unique Sculpture, Patrick Painter, Santa Monica, USA Solo
2008UntitledKunsthistorisches Museum (cat.), Vienna, AustriaSolo
2008Beyond the Lens, Dominique Fiat Galerie, Paris, FranceGroup
2008Excerpt: Selections from the Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn Collection, Frances Leham Loeb Center, Vassar College, New York, USAGroup
2008Arcadia: Painters' Paradise, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, travelled to: Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei as: Arcadie: Dans les collections du Centreu PompidouGroup
2008Pretty Ugly, curated by Alison Gingeras, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Maccarone, New York, USAGroup
2008Jekyll Island, curated by Erik Parker and Max Henry, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2007Old School, Hauser & Wirth Colnaghi, London, UKGroup
2007Photopeintries, FRAC Limosin, Limoges, FranceGroup
2007Timer 01 - Intimitá Triennale Bovisa, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Kunst im Dialog. 100 Jahre Kunsthalle, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, GermanyGroup
2007Insight?, Gagosian Gallery (cat.), Moscow, RussiaGroup
2007Attention to Detail (curated by Chuck Close), The Flag Art Foundation, New York, USAGroup
2007Der Symbolismus und die Kunst der Gegenwart, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, GermanyGroup
2007UntitledGagosian Gallery (cat.), New York, USASolo
2007Rockers Island: Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen, GermanyGroup
2007Zurück zur Figur: Malerei der Gegenwart (cat.), KunstHaus Wien, Vienna, Austria; Kunsthal, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2007Accidental Painting, Perry Rubinstein Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2006UntitledGalerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany Solo
2005Glenn Brown, Patrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CAGroup
2005Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004UntitledGagosian Gallery, New York, NyGroup
2004UntitledSerpentine Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2004UntitledHeißkalt Sammlung Scharpff, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart;Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany (catalog) Group
2003PitturaPaintings - from Rauschenberg to Murakami 1964 - 2003 Museo Correr, Venice, ItalyGroup
2003UntitledM ARS - Art and WarGroup
2003UntitledNeue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, AustriaGroup
2003Dreams and Conflicts: The Viewer's Dictatorship - Delays and Revolutions Padiglione Italia, 50th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, ItalyGroup
2002Painting as a Foreign Language Edifico Cultura Inglesa, Centro Brasileiro Britanico, Sao Paolo, BrazilGroup
2002LandscapeSaatchi Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2002Iconografias Metropolitanas Sao Paulo Biennale Group
2002UntitledSao Paulo, BrazilGroup
2002Melodrama Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporano, Spain;Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada Group
2002Lieber Maler, male mir (Cher Peintre, Peins-Moi; Dear Painter Paint Me)Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France;Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany Group
2002UntitledGalerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2002From Saatchi Gift Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, United Kingdom Group
2001PassionGalerie Ascan Crone, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany Group
2001Azerty Centre Pompidou, Paris, France Group
2001UntitledPatric Painter Inc., Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001UntitledKünstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf, GermanyGroup
2000The British Art Show 5Edinburgh, Scotland; Southampton, England;Cardiff; Wales;Birmingham, England Group
2000Futuro - Decadent Art and Architecture Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff, WalesGroup
2000Glenn Brown, Julie Mehreti, Peter Rostovsky The Project, New York, NY Group
2000The Wreck of Hope The Nunnery Gallery, Bow, London, EnglandGroup
2000BlueNew Art Gallery, Walsall, England Group
2000Little Angels Houldsworth Fine Art, London, EnglandGroup
2000Examining Painting Armand Hammer, University of California, CAGroup
2000Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d´Art Contemporain, Bignan, France (catalogue)Group
2000Hypermental Rampart Reality 1950-2000, from Salvador Dali to Jeff Koons Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland;Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany;Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic Group
2000UntitledThe Turner Price 2000 Tate Modern, London, England Group
2000Suite Substitute IV: Beautiful Strangers Hotel du Rhone, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2000UntitledGalerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2000SalonDelfina Project Space, London, England (group)Group
1999UntitledPatrick Painter, Inc. Los Angeles, CAGroup
1999Examining Pictures: Exhibiting Paintings Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England; Group
1999 Recent Acquisitions from the Frank Cohan Collection Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
1999John Moores 21Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England Group
1999UntitledJerwood Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1999Day of Donkey Day Transmission, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
1999DisasterHarris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, EnglandGroup
1999Holding CourEntwistle, London, EnglandGroup
1998New Work Patrick Painter, Inc., Los Angeles, CAGroup
1998UntitledPatrick Painter, Inc., Los Angeles, CAGroup
1998Abstract Painting, Once Removed Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO(group)Group
1998Secret Victorians First Sight, Colchester, England;Arnolfini, Bristol, England; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England;UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA Group
1998UntitledCluster Bomb Morrison Judd, London, England Group
1998It's a Curse, It's a Burden The Approach, London, EnglandGroup
1997Pure Fantasy Oriel Mostyn, Llandudo, North Wales, EnglandGroup
1997UntitledGalerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1997BelladonnaInstitute of Contemporary Arts, London, EnglandGroup
1997UntitledGalerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, FranceGroup
1997SensationRoyal Academy of Art, London, England;Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany;Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY Group
1997Treasure Island Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna Jose de Azeredo Perdigao, Lisbon, Portugal Group
1996Strange Days The Agency, London, EnglandGroup
1996The Jerwood Painting Prize Lethaby Galleries, Central Saint Martin's College, London, England Group
1996Fernbedienung: Does Television Inform the Way Art is Made?Kunstverein Graz, AustriaGroup
1996About Vision, New British Painting in the 1990's Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England (group)Group
1996UntitledQueen's Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, United KingdomGroup
1996Glenn Brown, Peter Doig, Jim Hodges, Adriana Varejao Galerie Ghilaine Hussenot, Paris, FranceGroup
199621 Days of Darkness Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland Group
1996Brilliant: New Art from London Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas, USA Group
1996Ace: Arts Council Collection New Purchases Hatton Gallery, New Castle upon Tyne, England;Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, England; (group)Group
1996Out of Space Cole and Cole, Oxford, England (group)Group
1995That's Not The way To Do It Project Space, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, EnglandGroup
1995Brilliant: New Art from London Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN Group
1995From Here Waddington Galleries and Karsten Schubert, London, England Group
1995Summer Group Show Karsten Schubert, London, EnglandGroup
1995Young British Artists VSaatchi Collection, London, EnglandGroup
1995ObsessionThe Tannery, London, England Group
1995Painters' Opinion Bloom Gallery, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
1995UntitledKarsten Schubert Gallery, LondonGroup
1994Every Now and Then Rear Window at Richard Salmon Ltd, London, EnglandGroup
1994Here and NowSerpentine Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1994Summer Group Show: Gallery Artists Karsten Schubert, London, England Group
1993Painting InvitationalBarbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY Group
1993LaunchCurtain Road Arts, London, EnglandGroup
1993Mandy Loves Declan 100%Boote Gallery, New York, NY Group
1993Re-Present Todd Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1993Barclay's Young Artist Award Serpentine Gallery, London, England Group
1992Surface Values Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, EnglandGroup
1992How Did These Children Come To Be Like That Goldsmiths' Gallery, London, England Group
1992With Attitude Galerie Guy Ledune, Brussels, Belgium Group
1991Group Show Todd Gallery, London, England Group
1990B T New Contemporary Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England: John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, England;Dean Clough, Halifax, England; Group
1989B T New ContempoI.C.A., London, England; Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, England;Group
1989Christie's New Contemporaries Royal College of Art, London, EnglandGroup