ALREADY AND NOT YET

Eric Brown

ALREADY AND NOT YET

By Eric Brown

May 5 - June 11, 2022

JENNIFER BAAHNG is pleased to announce the gallery representation of Eric Brown and his inaugural show, Already and Not Yet.  The exhibition is a showcase of small and easel-sized paintings and works on paper created since 2020.  Central to this new body of work is process.  Brown employs the sacred process of repetitive mark-making and a meticulous and personal approach to painting to create literal and visual weavings.  The resultant paintings appear as handmade textiles that invite an up-close looking.  Already and Not Yet evokes metaphors of strength and vulnerability, imperfection, mending, and domesticity.  The exhibition will be on view from May 5 through June 11, 2022, with an opening reception on Thursday, May 5, 2022, from 5 pm to 8 pm.

At first glance, the works in Already and Not Yet suggest woven textiles, but they are not paintings of textiles or any singular subject, moment, or linear plot.  Drawing on philosopher Roland Barthes’ theory that text is a living fabric interwoven with multiple meanings, Brown shows in these works a striving for a new painterly language.  Where it is the nature of semantics to constrain and shape meaning, his painted marks-on-canvas offer a “longhand,” open to the vastness of interpretation, capable of suggesting more than just partial answers.  

The Particulars of Rapture (2022), named after a poem by Wallace Stevens, is comprised of three paintings that echo each other with similar themes but individually look different.  A visual tension materialized, the work is an elegant manifestation of the cerebral conundrums questioned by the artist.  Painted freehand, there is a tenderness of human engagement.  

The concept of “already but not yet” was proposed by theologian Geerhardus Vos, who believed that we simultaneously live in the present age and await an “age to come.”  Brown observed that amidst the unimaginable loss and suffering especially during the early days of the pandemic, even in our collective wait for a return to “normalcy,” we continue to live.  

Spirit, Groan Inwardly While We Wait (2020), created around the first weeks of the pandemic, is the source from which the rest of the works in this show originated.  It consists of four various sized panels configured into a cross with an implied fifth panel in the center.  Determinedly cross-hatched, through symbolism and abstraction, the work refers to human form and nature.  It is calm, temperamental, compelling, and yearning for everyday small miracles.  

Intimate, quotidian, diaristic, potent, the works in Already and Not Yet are neither realist nor expressionist.  They are direct and unadorned.  Repeated delicate marks seemingly fluctuate with natural light and heave in breathing spaces.  Already and Not Yet proposes that the spiritual in art may happen on a small scale, rather than in grand, orchestral gestures, and reveals the artist in pursuit of a new abstract vocabulary.  

Eric Brown received a B.A. in Studio Art from Vassar College.  In 2020, he received a Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary.  He is a painter and a chaplain.  He is the recipient of the MacDowell Fellowship (2016) and was a Visiting Artist and Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (2015).  He has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at Ille Arts, Crush Curatorial, James W. Palmer Gallery, and Theodore: Art.  His works have been featured in artcritical, ARTnews, The New Criterion, The New York Observer, and The New York Times.  He divides his time between New York City and Sag Harbor.  

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Jane Freilicher and Thomas Nozkowski: True Fictions curated by Eric Brown

Jane Freilicher and Thomas Nozkowski: True Fictions curated by Eric Brown
Jane Freilicher and Thomas Nozkowski: True Fictions curated by Eric Brown

The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation are proud to present Jane Freilicher and Thomas Nozkowski: True Fictions, curated by Eric Brown and on view November 5, 2021 – February 26, 2022.  A catalog featuring essays by Brown and Barry Schwabsky will accompany the exhibition.

The first to pair the work of Freilicher (1924–2014) and Nozkowski (1944–2019), the exhibition comprises a selection of sixteen paintings from the artists’ last decades, when Freilicher’s paintings became pared down and more abstract. Rather than encouraging the divide between abstraction and representation, True Fictions collapses the distinction, presenting a novel pairing that helps us to see two bodies of work anew—each through the lens of the other.

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ERIC BROWN

Eric Brown

Eric Brown

What is in the Way is the Way, 2021
Oil on paper
10 x 14 inches

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ERIC BROWN

Eric Brown
“…..as Klee’s paintings did, that the spiritual in art might happen at small scale, rather than in grand, orchestral gestures.”
 
by Martha Schwendener, The New York Times, January 22, 2020
 

Born 1967, New York, New York
Lives and works in New York City

EDUCATION

Master of Divinity, 2020, Union Theological Seminary, New York
Bachelor of Arts, 1990, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019

Longhand, Theodore: Art, New York

2017
Punctuate, Theodore: Art, New York

2016
Suchness, New Work by Eric Brown, Crush Curatorial Chelsea, New York

2015
Lost and Found, James W. Palmer III Gallery, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Vice Versa, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York

2013
Monday Paintings, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

The Many Faces of Bill Arning, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2019

ICYMI, Theodore: Art, New York

2018
Chain Reaction: Artists Select Artists, The Painting Center, New York
Joseph Zito Plus Ten, Lennon Weinberg Gallery, New York
Materiality, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

2017
American Abstract, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York
The Edge, Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri

2016
Insomnia, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, New York
Construction Site, McKenzie Fine Art Inc., New York
Territory, Crush Curatorial, Amagansett, New York
Amagansett Art Across the Years, The Jackson Carriage House, Amagansett, New York
Deux Côtés / Two Sides, Part I, Theodore: Art, New York
Deux Côtés / Two Sides, Part II, Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris

2015
Vernacular: Eric Brown, Sharon Butler, Joyce Robins, Andrew Seto, Theodore: Art, New York
Remains To Be Seen, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Holiday Hijinks and Tote Modern, Theodore: Art, New York

2014
Holiday Salon, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York
City as Subject, curated by Peter Xico Greenwald, The Westbeth Gallery, New York
Somatic, curated by George Negroponte, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York
In the Trade, Washburn Gallery, New York

2013
Holiday Salon, Ille Arts, Amagansett, New York
Silhouette, curated by Bill Carroll, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Panero, James, “Gallery Chronicle.” The New Criterion, February 2020.

Schwendener, Martha. “What to See Right Now in New York Art Galleries.” The New York Times., January 22, 2020

French, Christopher. “E.L. Brown: Monday Paintings.” ARTnews, December 2013.
Krementz, Jill. “Jill Krementz Covers E.L. Brown’s ‘Monday Paintings.’” New York Social Diary, August 2013
Rogers, Pat. “Last Chance: Somatic Presents Industrial Abstraction at Ille Arts.” Hamptons Art Hub, August 15, 2014
Laster, Paul. “Weekend Edition: 11 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before June 2.” The New York Observer, May 28, 2015
Goleas, Janet. “Painterly Conversation About Abstraction in ‘Vernacular.”’ Hamptons Art Hub, June 24, 2015.
Landes, Jennifer. “Eric Brown’s Colorful Abstraction on View at Ille Arts.” The East Hampton Star, July 16, 2015.
Goleas, Janet. “Eric Brown Paintings—Authentic Colliding of Geometry and Color.” Hamptons Art Hub, July 18, 2015.
Hodara, Susan. “While You Were Sleeping, They Made Art.” The New York Times, February 12, 2016.
Jessica Mackin. “Gallery Walk.” Independent Newspaper, June 15, 2016.
Landes, Jennifer. “Finding a Local Aesthetic in Abstraction.”  The East Hampton Star, June 16, 2016.

Butler, Sharon. “Of Note: Eric Brown, Suchness.” Two Coats of Paint, November 25, 2016.
James Panero, “Gallery Chronicle,” The New Criterion, October 2017.
David Gibson, “Eric Brown@Theodore Art/Bushwick,” The Gibson Report, December 10, 2017.
“On July 4: The Art of Decency,” www.twocoatsofpaint.com, 2018.

SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS

2018
Cover art, Douglas Crase, Lines From London Terrace: Essays and Addresses, Pressed Wafer

2016
MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

2015
Visiting Scholar and Artist, The American Academy in Rome.
Cover art, Mannahatta, photographs by Roger Arvid Anderson, with poems by Walt Whitman, The Fisher Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2014
Cover art, Ken Babstock, On Malice, Coach House Books, Toronto

 

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“My recent paintings were made during a pandemic. Making them was a daily meditative practice. It was like keeping a journal. French philosopher Roland Barthes draws an analogy between text and textiles (“text” comes from the Latin texere, to weave). Through a repetition of mark-making, my paintings appear woven. They are not painted to look like textile. Their appearance is a byproduct of the painting process. The completed painting is a record of my experience making it. The eye follows “threads” of paint, their accumulation creating a larger whole. My new work is paradoxical: slow yet fast, precise yet open, deliberate yet intuitive. I am freer for having made them.”

Janet Taylor Pickett

“My Blackness is a declarative statement in my work. There are wonderful discarded objects brought home by my father and botanical prints my mother found from various second hand stores. Makers of things and tellers of stories surrounded me. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’ in the midst of sociopolitical activities, I began to formulate an aesthetic language, a visual synergy. The symbolism of the African American quilt, the pejorative images of the watermelon became part of my cryptology.”  

Zhang Hongtu

…In Memory of Tseng Kwong Chi (1991) is a photo series that looked to the work of one of Zhang’s contemporaries, the Hong Kong-born performance artist Tseng Kwong Chi, who died of AIDS in 1990. Appropriating Tseng’s photographs, Zhang used the work of his friend to further extrapolate upon the mechanisms by which iconography constructs identity and how artistic intervention can disrupt the language of power. Created for the 1991 exhibition Dismantling Invisibility; Asia and Pacific Island Artists Respond to the AIDS Crisis, Zhang’s work selected fifteen photographs from Tseng’s acclaimed self-portrait series East Meets West (also known as the Expeditionary Self-Portraits, 1979-89) and reconfigured them into photo collages using his familiar epoxy technique. In these photos, Tseng performed the role of “ambiguous ambassador” and posited himself the stereotypical tourist sites (the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, the Hollywood sign) while dressed in a Mao suit. The series was a subversive yet ludic exploration of cultural identity, perception, and the status of the individual amid the monumental. In Zhang’s reworking of these photos, he cut out the figure of his close friend and colleague, leaving a ghostly silhouette in his absence. The removal of Tseng’s body next to the famous profiles of monuments and natural wonders created a displacement that was not only a deeply sentimental tribute to a dear friend, but, in the words of Zhang, “dismantled” the imagery further, disrupting historical continuity…

“Art and China After 1989, Theater of the World”
Guggenheim 2017
Page 237

https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/art-and-china-after-1989-theater-of-the-world

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