Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gagosian Gallery Exhibition of Cecily Brown's Figurative Ensemble Paintings, Through October 12

Be Nice to the Big Blue Sea, 2012

©Cecily Brown. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Rob McKeever”.

Cecily Brown’s exhibition of recent works pays homage to the historical tradition of nude ensemble painting.  Every inch of these mostly large scale works are packed with fragmented figures, faces and body parts.  These often anonymous body forms are vigorously painted and are often dominated by orange and fleshy color combinations. Brown’s mark-making and gestural execution of the often hide-and-seek images are reminiscent of DeKooning’s  work and abstract expressionism. There is beauty and liveliness in Brown’s brushstrokes and a confident energy in the way she lays down color. She appears to dance from one monumental painting to the next, seemingly never skipping a beat yet the content belies her painterly technique.  It is sometimes exhausting and uncomfortably challenging in the process of trying to decipher the subject matter in her paintings. Though the canvases are strong in their formal considerations, we have to wonder what Brown is trying to communicate. Is she commenting on the sometimes confusing and overwhelming multi-dimensional complexities and realities of 21st century life? It’s as if Brown wants us to walk away with questions – so we will come back for more. Her four relatively small works in the rear gallery give us a glimpse of a more personal intimate connection with Brown’s ability to draw us in and keep us there for a while.

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