James Brown

United States 1951

Abstract Art, Painting

James Brown
James Brown
United States
September 22, 2015

James Brown is an American painter, who shares the name with the famous American singer and dancer. He was born in Los Angeles in 1951, and currently lives and works both in Paris and Oaxaca, Mexico. The style of his works changed throughout the years, but it has always been influenced by motifs from tribal art and modernist tradition. During the 1980s he shared similar views with Jean Michele Basquiat and the young neo-expressionist from East Village, which helped him gain the interest of art public.

Paintings by James Brown

James Brown - Light beam falling on a house crystal 15 times, 2006
James Brown – Light beam falling on a house crystal 15 times, 2006

Brown received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Immaculate Heart College in California in 1972, and decided to continue his art education in Paris, France, at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts. Although unhappy with the training he received in Paris, he stayed in Europe and incorporated European influences into his work. In 1980s he started exhibiting in New York. His works, based on European modernism and primitive art, and resembling the East Village painting, became quite popular.

The Story of the Stone series

Left James Brown - The Story of the Stone #09, 1995, Right James Brown - The Story of the Stone #05, 1995
Left: James Brown – The Story of the Stone #09, 1995 / Right: James Brown – The Story of the Stone #05, 1995

In 1995, he moved with his family to the valley of Oaxaca in Mexico, where he started making old-fashioned, traditional Mexican rugs, and founded Carpe Diem Press together with his wife. The Carpe Diem Press books are printed in limited editions, using traditional Oaxaca methods, usually in collaboration with other artists.

Caput mortem VI, 2006

James Brown - Caput mortem VI, 2006
James Brown – Caput mortem VI, 2006

He has been exhibiting in the numerous prestigious galleries across the United States, Europe and Mexico since 1980s. Some of his works can be found in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is represented by ZooArt.

James Brown lives and works in France and Mexico.

All images copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2011The Realm of Chaos and LightGalerie Karsten Greve, Paris, FranceSolo
2009Into the EmptinessSOAVE Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Alessandria, ItalySolo
2009James Brown and Stephen Mueller: Bronzes and PaintingsOtto Zoo, Milan, ItalyDuo
2008Les fleurs du malArcos – Museo di Arte contemporanea del Sannio, BeneventoGroup
2008Group ShowSotheby’s – Palazzo BroggiGroup
2007ContemporaneamentePalazzo Silva DomodossolaGroup
2007GamGalleria d’Arte Moderna GenovaGroup
2007Group ShowGalerie Karsten Greve ParisGroup
2005Group ShowWetterling Gallery, Catalogue, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2005James Brown 10 acos en OaxacaEx-Escuela Quintana Roo Museum, Merida, MexicoSolo
2005Group ShowJuliana Gallery, Seoul, South KoreaGroup
2004Group ShowDieu Donne Papermill, New YorkGroup
2004Group ShowLivingstone Gallery, The HagueGroup
2004Group ShowEcole des Beaux-Arts, RouenGroup
2004Group ShowMuseum in LandsbergGroup
2004Group ShowAnthony Grant, New YorkGroup
2004Group ShowMuseum in Oaxaca, MexicoGroup
2004Group ShowIago, Oaxaca, MexicoGroup
2004Group ShowWilly Schoots, EindhovenGroup
2003Group ShowSander, BerlinGroup
2003Group ShowLa Caja Negra, MadridGroup
2003Group ShowAlice Pauli, LausanneGroup
2003Group ShowMuseo di San Severo, NaplesGroup
2003Group ShowMimmo Scognamiglio, NaplesGroup
2003Group ShowMuseo de Arte Contemporaneo, MalagaGroup
2003Group ShowGalleria de Arte, San MarinoGroup
2003Group ShowMuseum of Art, RegensburgGroup
2002Group ShowJan Wagner, BerlinGroup
2002Print RetrospectiveLa Louviere, ParisGroup
2002Group ShowCharpa, ValenciaGroup
2002Group ShowCouvent des Cordeliers, ParisGroup
2002Group ShowL’Ariete and John Hopkins University, BolognaGroup
2001Group ShowPace Prints, New YorkGroup
2001Group ShowBernd Klueser, MunichGroup
2001Group ShowPeter Baeumler, RegensburgGroup
2001Group ShowMasoero, TorinoGroup
2001Group ShowBodega Quetzalli, OaxacaGroup
2001Group ShowRalph Pucci, New YorkGroup
2001Group ShowBurton and Marinkovich, WashingtonGroup
2001Group ShowWetterling, StockholmGroup
2001Group ShowA & A., VeniceGroup
2000Group ShowMalakoff, ParisGroup
2000Group ShowBonomo, BariGroup
2000Group ShowDorothy Blau, FloridaGroup
2000Group ShowPaule Anglim, San FranciscoGroup
2000Group ShowPfalzgalerie, KaiserslauternGroup
2000Group ShowKunstsammlungen, ChemnitzGroup
2000Group ShowNova, Ronco - AsconaGroup
2000Group ShowLes Arcades, ParisGroup
2000Group ShowPierre Tal-Coat, HennebontGroup
1999Group ShowMuseum in CeretGroup
1999Group ShowLelong, ParisGroup
1999Group ShowAce, Mexico CityGroup
1999Group ShowBordas, VeniceGroup
1999Group ShowStudio d’Arte Raffaelli, TrentoGroup
1999Group ShowIn Arco, TorinoGroup
1999Group ShowCentre d'Art Contemporain, Bouvet-LadubayGroup
1999Group ShowTriangle Bleu, StavelotGroup
1998Group ShowSerge Sorokko, New YorkGroup
1998Group ShowScognamiglio & Teano, NaplesGroup
1998Group ShowAlice Pauli, LausanneGroup
1998Group ShowLiving Stone, Le HavreGroup
1997Group ShowLipanjepuntin, TriesteGroup
1997Group ShowSerge Sorokko, San FranciscoGroup
1996Group ShowBaeumler, RegensburgGroup
1996Group ShowBonomo, RomeGroup
1996Group ShowStudio d’Arte Rafaelli, TrentoGroup
1996Group ShowEarl McGrath, New YorkGroup
1996Group ShowVisconti & Centre Culturel Francais, LjubljanaGroup
1995Group ShowLeo Castelli, New YorkGroup
1995Group ShowLe Carre Saint Vincent, OrleansGroup
1995Group ShowHartman and Company, La JollaGroup
1995Group ShowAlice Pauli, LausanneGroup
1995Group ShowMuseum in TrentoGroup
1995Group ShowLelong, ParisGroup
1995Group ShowSamuel Lallouz, MontrealGroup
1995Group ShowBrian Kish, New YorkGroup
1995Group ShowLipanjepuntin, TriesteGroup
1995Group ShowBonomo, BariGroup