Barbara Krakow Gallery is proud to announce our eighth solo exhibition with Cambridge-based Maggi Brown. Maggi Brown’s most recent paintings incorporate illegible writing-like scrawl, dense layers of oil paint and the occasional mark of graphite that takes its clearest role in “Tangerine Storm”, the first painting in the group.
Since her first exhibition, Brown has always focused on the physicality of her surfaces. Whether incorporating foreign objects into the paint (Ginko leaves, sand & cotton string, among others) or building up her surfaces via painting, scraping, scratching, overlaying and glazing, the artist creates powerful visual statements that form connections between things that are seemingly opposed – writing versus painting, surface versus depth, new versus old, etcetera. It is key, though, to recognize that those oppositions do not compete on Brown’s canvases but instead converse, thus providing new illuminations as to how surface, form and color can create what – seems like an oxymoron – variegated consistency.
This idea leads back to an examination of the works. How does one take a unified, peaceful canvas of soft pale tones and make it intensely active? How does one build up layer after layer, only to tear it down to find that part of what lay before actually is key to combine with the newest elements? How does one write, draw and paint on a single surface with such harmony and yet there is so much activity that one’s eyes can never rest in just one spot? The works in the current exhibition answer those, and many other questions.