press release

Cecily Brown is among the most talented and provocative painters of her generation. Modern Art Oxford presents a survey of her work over the past ten years across themes of the figure, landscape and paintings relationship to its own history. Based in New York, Cecily Brown was born in London in 1969 and trained at the Slade School of Fine Art.

CECILY BROWN: PAINTINGS is the artists first major solo exhibition in the UK.

The large-scale canvasses of Cecily Brown are densely worked and packed with imagery in which grappling figures and pastoral landscapes explode into an abstract frenzy of illicit views and fragmentary parts. Brown’s formal repertoire is indebted as much to porn magazines, comic books and Hollywood movies as it is to De Kooning, Bacon, Goya, and Hogarth. Championing the importance of the motif in her work, Brown not only addresses the subject of painting as inextricable from its own history, she engages with the experience of painting in its contemporary context as an intensely physical act.

The exhibition presents a selection of Brown’s most significant canvasses, including Performance, 1999 and Bacchanal, 2001, and work from the Black Painting series (2002-2004), one of the highlights of the Whitney Biennial, New York in 2004. Also included are paintings from Brown’s most recent series of large-scale paintings, in which Cezannesque compositions slide into deliciously rendered \'junkscapes\', and her 1995 film Four Letter Heaven, a sassy and sexy animated painting that marked a turning point in Brown’s career.

Cecily Brown has exhibited in numerous exhibitions internationally with solo exhibitions at the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004), Museo d 'Arte Contemporanea, Roma (2003) and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2002). Group exhibitions include Whitney Biennial 2004, Whitney Museum of American Art (2004), Szenenwechsel XIX, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (2001), Greater New York: New Art in New York Now (2000) and Vertical Painting (1999) both at PS1, New York. Brown’s work is also included in the forthcoming Part II of The Triumph of Painting at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2005).

An illustrated publication featuring essays by Suzanne Cotter and writer and critic Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, accompanies the exhibition. Designed by Peter B Willberg.


Cecily Brown: Paintings
Kurator: Suzanne Cotter
Organisation: Modern Art Oxford