press release

Over the last 40 years the conceptual artist Stanley Brouwn – from the same generation as Daniel Buren or Michael Asher – has produced a body of work based on the action of movement and the measurement of distances. Brouwn, who does not allow his personal details or photographs of him to be published, substituted for his biography the measurements of his body, the “brouwn measurements”, like the “brouwn foot” (26 cm), the “brouwn arm” (47 cm) and the step (variable); he has used them as alternative measurements to the ones generally used.

His works, which elude any stylistic definition, come directly from everyday experiences and aim to create an awareness of movement in the world. He starts from the idea that in our environment the importance of distances and their direct measurements is in decline due to the travel possibilities provided by the aeroplane, which is within almost everyone’s reach. In opposition to that development, Brouwn confronts us with a juxtaposition of measurements used in everyday life, like the metric system (which he calls “living measurements”) with ancient and obsolete ones (“dead measurements”), or the “brouwn measurements”, thus radicalising the definition of the work of art and the relation between work, space and everyday life.

Walking, as an elemental human condition, takes a central place in Brouwn’s work as a more immediate unit of measurement of distances. Working with “brouwn measurements” and standard measurements, he relates the need for rules and conventions with individual experience. Brouwn’s work is minimalist, but his radical concepts have the potential to activate space when they are compared with the physical measurements of the exhibition rooms.

The exhibition Stanley Brouwn. Works 1960-2005 is the first one of this artist’s work in Spain and will include a broad selection of pieces done over the last 45 years.


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Stanley Brouwn. Works 1960-2004
Kuratoren: Roland Groenenboom, Christiane Berndes
Produktion: Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, in Zusammenarbeit mit Museu d´Art Contemporani, Barcelona