During March and April the GEORGE ADAMS GALLERY will present a special exhibition of paintings and constructions by JOAN BROWN (1938-1990) at CB1-G in LOS ANGELES. A survey of eleven self-portraits made between 1970 and 1980, the period during which Brown firmly established herself as an artist with a unique vision, most of the works on view have never been previously shown in Los Angeles.
By the early 1960s Joan Brown was already celebrated for her colorful, heavily impastoed figurative paintings and her work featured in regular exhibitions in galleries and museums across the United States. Yet in 1965, feeling stylistically constrained by her association with the Bay Area Figurative movement, she withdrew from gallery exhibitions and retreated into her studio in order to redefine herself artistically. After a hiatus of several years, Brown reemerged with a highly introspective body of work that focused primarily on the self-portrait, portraying herself as she was: a complicated and at times contradictory set of personas. In these paintings Joan is not only an artist but also a daughter, wife, mother, lover, athlete, dancer, world traveler, and mystic, all subjects she continued to explore until her premature death in 1990.
JOAN BROWN HERSELF begins chronologically with examples of four enamel on masonite paintings from the early 1970s; notably “Christmas Time (Noel and Joan)” (1970) and “Parts of A Woman” (1972). Additional works include two constructions in cardboard and string, “Luxury Liner” and ”The Smoker” (1973) as well as two large-scale canvases, “Woman Waiting in a Theater Lobby” (1975) and “The Kiss” (1976). The exhibition continues chronologically with an example of her late-70s immersion in spirituality, “Cosmic Nurse” (1978), and concludes with “Self-portrait at Age 42” (1980), one of many “birthday” self-portraits she painted over the course of her career.
JOAN BROWN HERSELF will be on view at CB1-G from Saturday, March 12th through Saturday, April 23rd. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 5 or by appointment.