CHARLEY BROWN

(American, 1945-2018)

ORCHIDS

Oil on Canvas

84 x 96 Inches

Individual Panels: 84 x 24 Inches

Signed Lower Right with Monogram "C.B." and Dated 1980

 

A substantial, four-panel screen showing elegant Cymbidium orchid blossoms and foliage with jade bamboo contrasted against a purple-chestnut background. The screen has been sturdily constructed with a cross-braced hardwood frame backed with a Burgundy wool-felt that is in very good condition. This four-panel quadryptich is mounted to hang flat against a wall or to be installed free-standing as a three-dimensional floor-screen in a flexible 'W' configuration.

 

Charley Brown first studied at Doxiades School of Design in Athens, Greece, and, subsequently, at the California College of Art before receiving his MA in Art from Humboldt University. In a career that spanned four decades, he exhibited widely and with success, both within the United States and internationally, including at the New Museum of New York City, the Jacques Masol Gallery in Paris, Galleries Schreiner in Basel and Gallerie Royale in Vancouver, BC, among others. Brown was the recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards and also received commissions for large-scale murals, including from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., the City of San Francisco and Stanford University, among others.

 

According to the artist, a true art experience is an opening. The moment we are entranced by a piece of music or enraptured by a dance performance, we touch upon the energy that is at the heart of creation. “This is the moment I want to capture,” Brown said, “this is the magic.” Painting, for him, captured not only that moment but expanded it through time and audience, creating its own realm of boundless joy and beauty. Just like colors or tones, shapes express different emotions, each carrying their own distinct character and sensation. In Brown’s work, shapes range from elemental to intricate, geometric to organic. His bold, crisply defined shapes...balance and counter-balance each other. They are broken up with intentional imperfections, empty spots, freckles, flecks and streaks in the paint that impart a tonal, intimate quality to the rhythm. The result is a composition that expresses itself as a rhapsody- with the delicacy and balance of a mobile.

 

To achieve this effect, Brown applied a variety of a unique methods. Several layers of modeling paste are applied to the canvas, sanded down for smoothness and then reapplied. Once he was satisfied with the surface texture, he began by drawing geometrical lines and semicircles, along which he then spread layers of paint with a brayer (a small roller), a technique he borrowed from monotyping. Deliberate imperfections were created by an intermittent lifting of the brayer, with the tip of a finger or simply through the texture of pigment on canvas. What appear to be different colors, often are just tonal variations of the same color, created by varying thicknesses of the paint. While the process demands technical precision and skill, it is creatively guided by intuition. “I don’t follow a formula or a concept. Rather, I can feel my paintings vibrating, pulsating,” Brown said. “My job as an artist is to listen to the energy and guide it through the painting in a way that is harmonious, fulfilled.”

 

We are pleased to offer this large four-panel painting; an exceptional, dimensional work created when the artist was thirty-five years old.

 

Education:

1971 Humboldt State University, Arcata, California

1970 Humboldt State University, Arcata, California

1966-7 California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California

1965 Doxiadis School of Design, Athens, Greece

 

Solo Exhibitions:

2019 Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016 Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013 Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2006, 2004, 2002 Larry Evans Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2003 City Picture Frame, San Francisco, CA

1998, 1996, 1994 Evans-Willis Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1985 Albrecht Museum, St. Joseph, MO

1983 F.I.A.C., Jacque Masol Gallery, Paris, France

1982 Penryn Gallery, Seattle, WA

1982 Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

1981, 1980, 1979, 1975, 1972, 1971 Penryn Gallery, Seattle, WA

1981 Dan Turk Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

1978 Brustlin Workshop, San Francisco, CA

1978 Gryphon Gallery Ltd., Denver, CO

1977, 1974, 1973 Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

1976 William Sparrow Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1975 Gallerie Royale, Vancouver, B.C.

1974 Coral Casino Club, Santa Barbara, CA

1973 Galleries Schreiner, Basel, Switzerland

1972 Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, CA

1971 Zoomfauk Gallery, San Francisco, WA

1971 Humboldt State University, Humboldt, CA

1971 University of Nevada, Reno, NV

1970 Humboldt State University, Humboldt, CA

 

(with thanks to Askart)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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