Bill Brown: Wanderlust

Art Life , Exhibitions Apr 18, 2014 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

“I am always trying to raise the stakes in subjectivity,” says the painter Bill Brown. In the exhibition Wanderlust, a collection of work spanning the years from 1964 to 2014, the evidence is that Brown has long also always sought out the limits of the approach to making pictures he’s exploring at any given time, from the meeting of Pop art and Abstract Expressionism in his 1960s paintings, to the abstract drawing style of his 1980s canvases, to his turn to a psychologically rich kind of figuration in the last decade.

QT_April 18_Wanderlust

Brown’s mature work has been grounded in a fluid kind of drawing that seems casual to the point of looseness but it is in fact tightly controlled and decisive. Pieces such as Hearsay [2010] that features a black outline drawing of a boat, a human head, a figure and a duck’s head, over black and orange washes, has a lightness of touch that only comes from decades of practice. Brown’s use of a personal iconography that includes elephants, swan, boats and skulls – as well as the repeated use of twinned heads –  speak of an artist deeply involved in an idiosyncratic vocabulary made all the more marvellous for the constancy of their use.

Until July 1
SH Ervin Gallery, Observatory Hill.
Pic: Bill Brown, Puff, 2008. Acrylic on canvas, 106×137 cms.

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Andrew Frost

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