Joan Brown "Friends and Family, A Survey of Drawings, 1960-1990"

George Adams Gallery

poster for Joan Brown "Friends and Family, A Survey of Drawings, 1960-1990"

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GEORGE ADAMS GALLERY presents an exhibition of 38 drawings by JOAN BROWN (1938 – 1990) that emphasizes the candid aspect of her work. The earliest drawing in the show dates from 1957 when Brown was still a student at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and the latest, a pencil portrait of her cat Leela, was made in 1987, shortly before her death at age 52.

Throughout her career Joan Brown’s immediate surroundings and intimate experiences were the core subject matter of her work, the focus of this exhibition is appropriately on the drawings depicting her city, her home, her friends, husbands, son, and pets. These drawings provide an inside look at an artist more interested in observation than in consciously making “art.” Life as Brown records it amounts to an accumulation of casual moments: a cat sitting by the new car, the view out the studio window, or private moments that resonate such as recollections of a dream, a moment of spiritual awakening, or contemplating her pregnancy.

From the beginning of her short (1958 – 1990) but distinguished career, Brown made a significant impact in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she exhibited regularly starting in 1956 while still in Art School. She was the subject of two career surveys organized by the Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley (1974 and 1995), where she also taught for many years and eventually chaired the Art Department. Throughout her career Brown also had regular gallery exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, and by institutions throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York which both acquired works as early as 1962.



from September 15, 2011 to October 29, 2011


Joan Brown

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