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Brad Brown, Piece

Larissa Goldston Gallery
551 West 21st Street, 212-206-7887
November 15 - November 22, 2007
Reception: Thursday, November 15, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The exhibition includes a series of painted wood constructions comprised of two-foot square elements. Although most of these constructions appear to be abstract or free association paintings, they are essentially a collage of quick notations drawn from a variety of sources including comics from the 1920s and 30s, Russian avant-garde posters, Japanese erotica, airline safety cards, and deChirico’s late metaphysical interiors from the 1970s.

Hewn from layered plywood, every square is approached as an independent work, yet each is informed and connected to the other panels through a series of local decision and actions. Brown begins by painting the 2×2’ panels, often on both sides. Then, using a jigsaw as a drawing tool, the panels are cut, isolating and reasserting the painted images, often creating new images where the positive and negative elements are confused. Finally, these elements are distributed throughout the project, cobbled together with other pieces, and affixed onto painted panels.

For this installation, Brown has coupled many of the constructions or arranged them into multi-panel “strips.” Close viewing reveals that the panels are often connected through repeated images or shared fragments. The result is a large jigsaw puzzle, one that has been dismantled, scrambled and used to make a new puzzle – a puzzle without a solution.

Also included in the exhibition are two large-scale collage drawings, of and for and to and from. These drawings reveal some of Brown’s disparate source imagery and explore his process of intellectual free-association and the visual concepts underlying the wood constructions. Comprised of hundreds of discrete frames, Brown calls these drawings “nets.” The 4×8’ pages covered the tables in his studio while he was working on Piece. They collected notes, drawings, and ideas that he was generating for the work and the results of the ideas that he gained from making the work.
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