Curated by Organized by the Des Moines Art Center Curated by Jeff Fleming
This is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States to survey the work of renowned London-based artist Glenn Brown. Painting steadily over the last three decades, Brown crafts paintings with an immaculate, almost supernatural level of detail and fluidity. His work resonates as a model for the longevity of painting by turning the icons of this tradition into the fodder for dark theatre. Artist and writer Lynn MacRitchie echoes the sentiments of critics and audiences when acclaiming his technical skills as “alegendary” – calling special attention to how Brown “can render the surface of paint on canvas as flat and smooth as a glossy magazine.” The relatively minimal number of paintings he makes per year, a clamoring coterie of buyers and soaring, multi-million dollar prices have made this artist the stuff of auction house majesty. At the same time his work retains a crowd-pleasing popularity that swells beyond typical art world jurisdiction, speaking to “the simple pleasures of looking and the pre-linguistic pull of major, lasting art” which critic Martin Herbert highlights in his work. Where “high art” meets “low art,” we are reminded of the way the Old Masters of the 16th and 17th centuries developed a following across privilege and class. This landmark exhibition will feature over 30 paintings, sculptures, and prints as well as a fully-illustrated catalog.