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The Maker Magazine

A figurative painter’s vehicle for exploration of the self

November 20, 2020

Two Paintings by Joan Brown titled Self Portrait in a Fur Hat from 1972 and Woman Preparing for a Shower from 1975

An artist, who achieved national notoriety at a young age of twenty-two. A whiteness to San Francisco’s Beat scene and nascent Funk movement. Someone, who expressed “a disdain for the ways and fashions of the commercial art world, and [a] total and adamant rejection of painting as decoration”. She created works that defied the golden standards of figurative painting, toyed with symbolism, and reinvented her practice over the years, not fully extending the viewer an invitation to her personal life, but creating art that offered glimpses to her exploration of the self.

Fiercely independent, late Joan Brown was an artist who’s among the most original and independent painters of her time. And under recognized— a sad wrong, that a renowned New York gallery Venus Over Manhattan sets out to right. On view from November 18th through December 23rd, the gallery’s first exhibition of Joan Brown surveys a particularly productive decade in the artist’s career from the late 1960s through the late 1970s.

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