Glenn Brown - Biography

When looking at the work of Glenn Browns one is inevitably reminded of something previously seen. Not in the sense of a previously seen shot with similar themes, but more like a déjà vu, that was shot by Far Wolf, an effect which is part of the concept of the artist, who was born in 1966 in Hexam. In his works Brown makes reference to artistic strategies from the renaissance to the present, adopts themes and pictures of both living artists such as Georg Baselitz or Howard Hodgkin, as well as works of great established artists of art history, such as Rembrandt or Dali, whom he uses as a foundation for his reinterpretation.

"Brown is usually described as a Mannerist."

Glenn Brown - art exhibitions

In early 2011 Brown’s Berlin gallerist Max Hetzler presented recent works of the British artist at a comprehensive solo exhibition. Both the theme as well as the scale of the presented sculptures and paintings, among which were portraits and still life, correspond to classical genres of occidental paintings. Whereby the faces of the subjects appear distorted and sunk into itself. In place of eyes one sees dark, gaping holes. “The Life Hereafter” adapted from a painting by Van Gogh shows a floral motif in its perishability. The colours and structures dissolve as if the flowers were in a process of decay. Brown is usually described as a Mannerist, with works that are grotesquely and flamboyantly bombastic, always moving between beauty and ugliness, between life and death. He traditionally paints with oil on wood. What appears at first sight to be pastose and expressionistic, turns out as a trompe l'oeil.


Under the smooth surface one can see multiple layers of references, which reveal the complex production process. This becomes even clearer in his etchings. His “Layered Portraits” are done on computer, by placing up to 15 portrait etchings and drawings by artists such as Rembrandt, Urs Graf and Lucian Freud, over one another and digitally treated till the references are hardly recognizable.


For Brown pictures are like languages. He reacts against allegation of copying and plagiarism, which came up during the awarding of the Turner prize in 2000. He believes that it is basically impossible to produce a picture that has not been borrowed. His concept is that of creating something new out of something already existing.


Glenn Brown, who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2000, lives and works in London. He is being represented by Patrick Painter Inc. in Los Angeles, the Gagosian Gallery in New York and Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin. He has also been in solo exhibitions in leading institutions such as the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2004, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in 2008, in Tate Liverpool in 2009, in the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and in the Ludwig Museum in Budapest in 2010.

Glenn Brown - collections

His works are located in the collections of renowned museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.


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