Daniel Brush "Blue Steel Gold Light"

Museum of Arts & Design

poster for Daniel Brush "Blue Steel Gold Light"

This event has ended.

Daniel Brush's fascination with materials and his passionate focus on process make him the ideal subject for a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design. "Blue Steel Gold Light" will comprise examples of Brush's large-scale paintings, his earliest gold-granulated jewels and objects, a selection of his most significant steel and gold tablet and wall sculptures, along with his witty magnetic adornments made from plastic, aluminum, steel and precious gems.

Over the past 40 years, Daniel Brush has created an oeuvre unparalleled in contemporary American art-from large-scale canvases and drawings to gold-domed containers encrusted with gold granules so miniscule they must be applied with a one-haired brush. Whatever the medium, Brush's art has always been an extension of his mind and heart-whether that reflects his day-to-day life or one of his many intellectual pursuits, be it the study of Noh drama, Mughal jewelry, Jazz, the Victorian art of turning, or the molecular structure of metal alloys.

Born in Cleveland in 1947, Brush's career began with painting and teaching. Seeking a diversion from the intellectual intensity of painting-"I needed a crossword puzzle," he explains-Brush taught himself the ancient Etruscan technique of gold granulation. Today, both pursuits share equal weight in his mind and work. At times, he is consumed by painting, and at other periods, he focuses entirely on three-dimensional work. As he sometimes works for up to 24 hours at a stretch, his art making requires extraordinary endurance. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this practitioner of "extreme art" is attracted to the most demanding artistic techniques and materials: he describes sculpting steel with a chisel to being akin to "taking an axe to the ice in Antarctica."

Despite his creative range, Brush insists that he is first and foremost a painter. "I find most dear the period in New York when the Abstract Expressionists searched for the 'heroic sublime'." While his paintings and drawings do not fit the canon of "American art," they are clearly the creation of a post-World War II American painter. The large paintings and drawings resemble written passages with delicate ink or paint lines scribed over and over across the surface, recording not only a trance-like remembrance or a study of Brush's focus but also his breathing. His small-size sculptures in steel and gold are large-scale ethereal expressions of a pure spirit, seemingly only minimally anchored to the earth and yet somehow clearly grounded.

[Image: Daniel Brush "Justinian" (1989-1993) Steel, 22k gold 3.25 x 3 x 3 in.]



from October 16, 2012 to February 17, 2013


Daniel Brush

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