English / German / French
“Perhaps that’s what Glenn Brown is: a hunter. A good hunter, discreet, always on the lookout for his prey, the images.” The British artist knows his way around and finds his motifs in the large visual memory vaults of art libraries. His work is based on reproductions of old and modern art: he lays bare their innermost secrets and turns them into color-distorted images, whose liquefied surfaces expand both gesture and illusion of the painting medium. If picture titles often reference pop music, that’s because the art is meant to reach out emotionally like a song. This gives rise to fascinating “collisions between one universe and another, between title and image, between treatment and iconography” that Jean-Marie Gallais elucidates in his essay.
For his exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler in the spring of 2011, Glenn Brown chose a space that would project his play on reflection and remembrance into the room: a bright apartment in Berlin, where the works could develop their post-modern interaction to the full in an art nouveau setting. Here a traditional genre-like floral still life mutated into a bouquet of bodily orifices, portraits of old men wasted away in sickly colors, while the sculptures almost suffocated under broad brushstrokes of oil paint. Add to this the mutilated physicality of large torsos: two headless female figures and a giant horse’s head, shades of Rembrandt, van Gogh, and Menzel … Brown’s complete installation is presented here in individual work images, exhibition views, and zoomed-up details revealing every single brushstroke, that will allow readers to experience everything for themselves.