CAROL K. BROWN: PAPERDOLLS, a captivating exhibition of a series of acrylic paintings over photographs on paper will be on view at the Nohra Haime Gallery from November 11 through December 5.
In her most recent body of work, Brown has shifted her focus to the subject of femininity and human, albeit primarily female, self-perception – creating a cultural self-portrait. Feeling that older women seemingly disappear in our society, Brown has created an army of them. In this series, Paperdolls, the artist began with a single nude photograph of herself, and proceeded to repeatedly “dress” the image with paint in an overwhelming myriad of variations of clothing; the only constant being her round, red glasses. With a sharp wit, Brown transforms adornment into armor. The playful becomes subtly strange in its awkward rigidity, emphasized by the repetition of the underlying forms and their placement in a large grid.
Brown’s figures portray an interesting mix of strength, vulnerability, clumsiness and confidence. They are part “Victoria’s Secret” model, part dumpy mother-of-the-bride, part Amazon warrior but all exude a palpable force to be reckoned with, a tour de force of feminine self-perception.
Brown’s 35-year career has been one of constant surprise and persistent reinvention—the reinvention of her own working practices. Beginning as a metal sculptor, her work has evolved through numerous phases: anthropomorphic abstractions, figurative paintings, and social commentary. But there has been a consistent strength to her visual explorations.
Carol K. Brown lives and works in Miami Beach and New York. She has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Boise Art Museum; National Museum of Women in the Arts; the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, among others. Her work is in numerous private and public collections including the Miami Art Museum; the Jacksonville Art Museum; the Denver Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Frost Art Museum at FIU; and Miami-Dade Art in Public Spaces.