Press Release

This show is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague Paule Anglim.

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During the month of April the George Adams Gallery will mount an exhibition of paintings by Joan Brown (1938-1990). There will be nine paintings on view and will include examples of some of her best-known images from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

After a roughly five-year hiatus, Joan Brown exhibited a series of large-scale, autobiographical paintings shown at the Hansen Fuller Gallery, San Francisco in 1971. Having remarried (to the artist Gordon Cook) in 1967, Brown left her native San Francisco for the Sacramento River’s Delta area where she made the 8 foot tall, enamel on masonite paintings that form the core of the current exhibition. No longer working in the virtuosic Bay Area Figurative style typified by David Park and her mentor Elmer Bischoff, these paintings are broadly rendered yet closely scrutinized self-portraits as a young girl, a young mother, as a woman, and as a newly wed. These paintings, rarely seen or exhibited as a group, mark Joan Brown’s re-emergence as a lively artistic force in the California Bay Area, a role she would maintain until her untimely death at age 52.

Included in the exhibition are her iconic Self-portrait with Fish, 1971; Christmas Time (Noel and Joan), 1971; and Portrait of a Girl, 1971. In addition the exhibition will feature: an important early canvas Portrait of a Chair, painted in 1958 when Brown was just 19 years old; Joan, Gordon, and Rufus in Front of the S.F. Opera House, a triple portrait of the artist with her new husband Gordon Cook and their dog Rufus, from 1969; and the quintessential mid-70s self-portrait, Woman Waiting in a Theater Lobby from 1975.

The exhibition, an expansion on the gallery’s booth at the recent Art Dealers Association Art Show, will run from April 1 through May 2.