Glenn Brown

Photo: Tom Jamieson

Glenn Brown
United Kingdom born 1966

Level 2
NGV International
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Glenn Brown appropriates historical art in his paintings and sculptures and in recent years has extended his conceptual concerns to drawing and printmaking. Brown considers drawing to be of fundamental importance for image creation, and uses the medium to distort, stretch and layer separate art historical references to create complex, line-based works. The Bring on the Dancing Horses series continues these investigations with six etchings that appropriate historical prints and drawings by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Jacques de Gheyn II, Jacob Jordaens, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Andrea del Sarto and others. Brown adopts, conflates and destabilises their historical traditions of drawing as part of his ongoing conceptual critique of the pictorial codes and conventions of representation.

Glenn Brown CBE is a British artist known for the use of art-historical references in his paintings. Starting with reproductions from other artists’ works, Brown transforms the appropriated image by changing its colour, position and size. His grotesque yet fascinating figures appear to be painted with impasto (the thick application of paint to create texture), but are actually executed through the application of thin, swirling brushstrokes, which create the illusion of almost photographically flat surfaces. The effect is powerful – often unsettling – creating an artistic language that transcends time and pictorial conventions. Brown sees these appropriations and oppositions as key to his approach. Brown is also recognised for other mediums such as drawing, sculpture and editions.

Ruth Margaret Frances Houghton Bequest, 2019