Glen Brown, Come to Dust – Gagosian Mayfair, London

20 February 2018 § Leave a comment

“I am rather like a Dr. Frankenstein, constructing paintings out of the residue or dead parts of other artist’s work. I see their worlds from multiple or schizophrenic perspectives, through all their eyes. Their sources of inspiration suggest things I would never normally see – rocks floating in far-off galaxies, for example, or a bowl of flowers in an 18th-century room, or a child in a fancy-dress costume. The scenes may have been relatively normal to Rembrandt or Fragonard but because of the passage of time and the difference in culture, to me they are fantastical.”    Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

Glenn Brown’s latest show, amazingly his first major UK one since 2009, takes advantage of the large spaces of Gagosian’s recently opened (see here) Mayfair gallery. This is a hugely impressive, state of the art space and Brown’s classical themes and inspirations are well suited to this gallery’s wooden floors and dark walls as opposed to the cliched concrete floored white cubes found in most commercial spaces nearby.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

The lighting is low and each work is spotlight whilst besuited security guards add to the feeling of entering a major London Museum rather than a west end gallery. This seems entirely relevant since Brown appropriates from classical artists that include Rembrandt, Delacroix, Greuze, and Raphael in a variety of genres like landscape, portrait, flower and history painting.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

He usually uses Photoshop to distort, merge and colour the selected sources in sophisticated compositions that fuse diverse histories – Renaissance, Impressionism and Surrealism. The original may in turns be obvious or hardly recognisable. Sometimes he puts them in historic gilt frames to confuse us more.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

In his oils, hybrid figures painted in intricate swirls reveal the sumptuous potential of oil paint. While these paintings give the illusion of thick impasto with volume, closer scrutiny reveals smooth surfaces that glow with a vital force. Up close form also disappears in complex swirls and vortices as if slipping from memory in some drug induced trance or dreamlike haze.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

In graphic works Brown paints using largely black and white lines over a neutral ground. Meticulous, elongated brushstrokes reimagine works from the likes of Raphael and Guido Reni to create depth and animation in portraits that barely seem to exist.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

There are also a significant number of sculptures, which we found slightly less successful. Elaborate masses are built from thick ‘strokes’ of coloured paint – perhaps imagine the likes of a sculptural Kossof. Some partially encase nineteenth-century bronze statues with growths of pulsating, gravity-defying paint.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

This is a stunning exhibition of formidable technical ability and Brown impresses with an artistic language that transcends time and pictorial conventions. In his unique vision the abstract and the visceral, the rational and irrational, the beautiful and grotesque, churn in a dizzying amalgamation of reference and form. Not to be missed.

Glenn Brown Gagosian Mayfair London

Glenn Brown, Come to Dust runs at Gagosian Mayfair until 17 March 2018

For more information visit www.gagosian.com

Frieze London

18 November 2015 § Leave a comment

The preview day of Frieze always provides plenty of visual stimulation – both on and off the exhibiting gallery walls. As we shimmied past the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hooper, Tommy Hilfiger and Valentino we made our way around the fair to see what was on offer this year.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com
 Most of of the big name international names were in attendance, amongst a grand total of 164 galleries that represented over 1000 artists from 27 countries. There actually seemed to be a lack of big name artist ‘blockbuster’ pieces at this years fair but there was still plenty to catch the eye in an event that is one of the annual highlights of the art world.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com
Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

Glenn Brown was our undisputed favourite this year with a stand full of great pieces at Gagosian, including these examples of both oil and sculpture.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

The young sensation Eddie Peake had two stunning works on show.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.comThere were two superb Michael Fullerton portraits showing at the Carl Freedman Gallery.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

The underrated Billy Childish had a large scale work, also at Carl Freedman.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

A colourful large scale Allen Jones was a great example of his work.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

Ai Weiwei has been dying his roots.

Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

Self Portrait in bath by Tracey Emin underwhelmed us, but here are some others that drew our attention:

photo 2 copy 4IMG_6014photo 2 copy 6 photo 1 copy 7 photo 3 copy 3photo 3 copyphoto 5Frieze London by reviewed by www.cellophaneland.com

Frieze London runs until Saturday 17 October 2015. For more information visit www. friezelondon.com

For more information visit www. friezemasters.com

Images by CELLOPHANELAND* and courtesy of Frieze

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