“Alive as a hive of bees yet sometimes serene, Brown’s paintings are like communities of marks. Like people, the marks work for and against one another. They accumulate baggage. They accrue into something larger than themselves.“
Maggi Brown and Krakow Witkin Gallery celebrate 35 years of working together with a survey of paintings from 1988 to 2021. The exhibition presents Brown’s loosely rendered geometric patterns, fields of curvelinear strokes, abstracted “writing” and other repeated marks. While these painted and carved gestures are quite significant, Brown has always felt confident covering over or even painstakingly scraping away layers of masterfully applied pigment. She selectively adds, obfuscates and/or removes both small and large areas. The various sections become equal, with the ‘history’ brought to the same level as the newest (top) layers. As important as this scraping is how Brown engages a sense of illumination. What can seem like glare (from ambient light) or a shadow (cast from within a room onto the painting) is often a subtle but confident change to the paint’s tints and/or tones, thus creating gritty devotions to ethereality. For Brown, the time to make the painting, the time ‘depicted’ within it and the time it takes a viewer to comprehend the physical and imagistic aspects of the work are all equally important. This exhibition presents the opportunity for the viewer to see this not only within individual works but on a macro (35+ years) scale.
“In a broad sense, I am interested in the connection between things which are opposed, what they have in common, and what kind of visual statement they make when combined. For me, all art that is meaningful deals in multifarious ways with the reconciliation of opposites.“
Reception for the artist on Saturday, September 10th, 3 – 5 (Masks appreciated)