Cecily Brown Exhibition at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Deichtorhallen Hamburg [Germany]

Cecily Brown
April 25 – August 30, 2009

The Deichtorhallen Hamburg present the artist’s first comprehensive exhibition in Europe. The show comprehends 48 works from 1998 – 2008.

Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown
Summer Love, 2000
Oil on canvas. 190.5 x 228.6 cm. (75 x 90 in.).
© Cecily Brown. Courtesy Thomas Holdings Inc. Collection

The painter Cecily Brown (born in 1969), London-based but living in New York, mostly chooses erotic motives for her large-format canvases, which she nearly abstracts to such an extent that they dissolve into pure chromaticity. Her energetic pictures, working on the borders between abstraction and figuration, have been one of the most distinctive positions in current painting since around 10 years.

Her works are collected by the most renowned museums of the world, such as Tate Britain, and the artist is considered the shooting star of a new expressive painting. “I use erotic photography to study the human body. What interests me is the emotional matter of these patterns”, Cecily Brown says.

Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown
Canopy, 2003-4,
Öl auf Leinwand/Oil on linnen, 203,2 x 203,2 cm/ 80 x 80 inches
© Cecily Brown. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Cecily Brown

Blick in die Ausstellung „Cecily Brown“ Deichtorhallen Hamburg April 2009.
Cecily Brown:” „Ha Ha Fresh” 2006, Öl auf Leinwand, 195,6 x 279.4 cm
© Alle Rechte vorbehalten

Brown’s vigorous and tactile oil paintings evoke the breadth of human experience, particularly the emotions associated with touch, pleasure, and passion. Widely inspired by the history of painting, from the figurative orders of Nicolas Poussin, Edouard Manet, and William Hogarth to the heady abstract expressionism of Willem de Kooning, Brown brings to the conventions of the genre a bold and, at times, ribald femininity.

Throughout her oeuvre, Brown has repeated certain motifs yet ascribes them different significations over time. For example the tent form — a primary image in her work that she associates with childhood books and nomads as well as paintings by Picasso, Goya and Bosch—is, in the new work, layered with fresh imagery that obfuscates the original form in varying degrees.

In the densely worked scenarios of Brown’s most recent paintings, flickering figures are enfolded in vivid pastoral landscapes and vanitas settings. Throughout the Skulldiver paintings, she carefully maintains the tension between abstract formal qualities and immanent figurative content, while in the Sarn Mere paintings, she continues to expound on the cautionary narrative fragments and sinister psychological undertones of her Black Paintings. Inspired in part by Mary Webb’s Precious Bane (1924), the Sarn Mere paintings evoke an imaginary place, a lake where all manner of dark happenings transpire.

In Carnival and Lent, one of Brown’s largest paintings, her signature tectonic structure dissolves into a blur of activity where figures and faces can be glimpsed amidst the pure energies of the brush. Brown’s previously representational schemes are rendered almost abstract through an increasing fragmentation of forms, underscoring her belief that her paintings should not have fixed meaning but rather reflect the flux of being in the world.

Blick in die Ausstellung

Blick in die Ausstellung „Cecily Brown“ Deichtorhallen Hamburg April 2009.
Cecily Brown: “Aujourd’hui Rose” 2005
Foto: © Wolfgang Neeb. Courtesy Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Blick in die Ausstellung

Blick in die Ausstellung „Cecily Brown“Deichtorhallen Hamburg April 2009.
Cecily Brown: “Tripe with Lemons” 2004;
“The Adoration of the Lamb” 2005-2006;
“Keychains and Snowstorms” 2004 (v.l.)
Foto: © Wolfgang Neeb. Courtesy Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Although best known for her bravura large-scale work, Brown will show a series of jewel-like, small paintings, which she began as a means by which to interpret the role of human scale and perception in her fragmented subjects, using a variety of brushes and techniques. These smaller scale paintings, which usually remain untitled, are not studies or contingencies for larger paintings, but rather works in themselves where Brown explores and resolves ideas and forms that began to emerge in her larger work and acquire new significance in this format.

ImagesCourtesy Deichtorhallen Hamburg
Images © Their respective owners


Stampfli & Turci – Art Dealers

Disclaimer & Copyright


~ by Stampfli & Turci on June 25, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: