Brown Sugarby Dennis Kardon
Cecily Brown is making a flat-out grab for the historical gearshift. She has taken the sexual power and energy that formerly was the exclusive domain of expressionist male painters and unashamedly claimed it for herself. For those familiar with her earlier paintings of copulating bunnies, and her subsequent demented orgy scenes that cross Francis Bacon with Fragonard under the sway of de Sade, Brown's new paintings are a leap.
In these huge de Kooning-like paintings, Brown has fractured or exploded or buried her formerly explicit erotic imagery in a churning sea of frenetic strokes and scrapes. This mass of fleshy colors still feels like it contains bodies. Squint long enough and maybe a leg appears, or is it an arm? A man's or a woman's? And is that a knee or the head of some giant cock?
Up close, the surface fragments into impossibly energetic, random gestures and marks. In her most explicit painting, titled Lady Luck, a woman's head in apparent ecstasy emerges upside down from the middle of a pink and red swirl. Maybe here is the key -- instead of depicting sexual situations, Brown now seeks to describe the feeling of sex in a way that is both aggressive, female and orgasmic. Read the Entire articleSource:
'I like the cheap and nasty'by Gaby Wood
Sunday June 12, 2005
When David Sylvester and his friend Francis Bacon took Cecily Brown to exhibitions as a girl, she had no idea the art critic was actually her father. Now one of the most collectable painters in the world, she is quick to acknowledge the influence of both
When Cecily Brown opens the door to her huge, skylit studio in the meatpacking district of Manhattan, I think I won't know where to stand or look. The floor is covered in a peculiar blend of detritus: discarded wads of paint-stained paper towels, a Balenciaga shopping bag, a yoga mat, cigarette butts, a stray Helmut Lang sandal. In the middle of the room, there is an enormous work table on wheels, crammed with paints. Long sable brushes are kept in coffee cans. Gargantuan paintings lean on easels and on every stretch of wall. Cecily Brown has been in this space for five years, half the time she has been in New York. Since she arrived here from London, the area has changed so much that her windows now look out on to new Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen boutiques. Something not dissimilar has happened to her career. 'When I moved to New York,' she says, 'I was waiting tables, painting in the daytime and working at night, and I felt it was possible to find a balance and just about get by. I was 25 at the time. I thought, "Well, you just do it however you can." I had no clue that it would go as well as it has.'
Now she is represented by the Gagosian, the most prestigious private gallery in the world. She has works in Tate Modern and the Guggenheim, is collected by Charles Saatchi, Elton John and Michael Ovitz. Each painting sells for around ÂŁ70,000 and there is always a waiting list. Later this month, her first major retrospective will open at Modern Art Oxford.Read the entire articleSource:
Cecily Brown's new work at Gagosian, Spring 2005By Stephanie Bell Behnke
Cecily may have come riding through the door to fame and fashion with her brash titillating use of copulating bunnies and sexual posture in the same way that John Currin breached the walls of the Chelsea galleries and popped open the eyes of the cognoscenti with his buxom fooleries aka Tom H. Benton but who would'a thought a girl's hot sex could get so boring, so old so fast.not to worry.Cecily's now through the door and settled in and maybe a little bored with the frenzy, the tooling tempest in a four square canvas. Looks like she's found something to sing about, think about or wrestle with, her own personal 'laocoon'. Showing her true colors she plays to the paint and plies her trade with her hard won, strong academic training from the Slade where Cezanne's MO still reigns.and rightly so.one of the few training grounds for painters that want to move the paint around here in the 21st century. She has corralled her energies to this complex, less facile intention rather than just grabbing attention. Working furiously for the last several years she has integrated all elements in this new work to achieve an enervating balance of paint, narrative, brushstroke scale, and color to present a visual that is as mesmerizing as a walk in the woods - radiance, in sync with nature's light streaming, visual bounty. This new work is elegant improvisation, a jazz like series of tableaux. From Cezanne, the mentor projects..'The real and prodigious study to be ventured is that of the diversity of nature's picture' or capturing nature's changes while preserving it's permanence as lifted from David Sylvester's essay on Cezanne. And while we may want her to go hog wild and get us closer to the energy, and to create an expressionism with all the same power and movement of Reuben's 'Massacre of the Innocents'.well, give her time.give her time.She's calmed but way far from bored or stuck.you can still see her heart fluttering, her mind moving and the bells ringing.