Goya Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition DAVID BROWN on view from February 2, 2024, through March 26, 2024, with a reception held on February 22 from 5:00 to 7:00pm.
David Brown’s (b. 1971, Frederick, MD) artistic practice revolves around the accumulation and recurrent use of his signature “eye” motif, which is comprised of two elliptical lines punctuated by a dot inside the center. This repeated motif, executed in modular grid arrangements, reference the broader systems within which individuals operate, not with the aim of achieving perfection, but rather pointing to the negligible fluctuations that occur and humanize the forms. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s Fine Arts program, Brown’s artworks often vary in scale, amassing thousands of meticulously applied marks on individual panels that accumulate and fill space, pushing the expressive potential of serial abstraction to suggest psychological states.
Brown’s work is anything but mass-produced. In contrast, his hand-crafted repeated marks have an organic and visceral feel. Whereas minimalism often uses repetition and serial organization to eschew expression in favor of structural organization, Brown embraces repetition to insinuate transformation and evolution. This may be appreciated through the small changes that occur as his materials break down, or as his hand physically tires and shifts the way he applies marks on the surface of his matrices. According to David, his work “differs from traditional Minimalism by creating a more personal, organic, and spontaneous- yet still orderly– image.” Viewing his art as “functional” Brown states that “…during the invention of each work, I gain the opportunity for personal reflection, contemplation, and meditation.”
The artist often uses variants of pattern to create an undulating sensation of rhythm. Composed of thousands of recurring, sequential marks, Brown emphasizes both the hand quality individualism and the unity of purpose shared by each discrete element which functions communally to formulate the whole. Where Brown applies each mark individually, responding to the one that came before, the collection of mark making creates an integrated appearance, fitting together to speak of oneness. The surfaces, as a result, visually vibrate and come alive with activity. At a distance the work expresses harmony yet taken one at a time as an object of ceremonial contemplation, the work contains more multiplicity than it would initially appear.
Instead of focusing on broader existential questions about the interconnection of humanity, Brown’s large installations serves as a meditative activity, a formal artistic tool, and an expression of labor. He considers the process of making these mandala-like objects an act of breathing and feels “most in the moment” during their making. Yet Brown’s expression of freedom is not complete without the viewer. He is noted as saying that “the viewer’s participation in the process completes the work” because we are not breathing earth’s air in solitary.
In this particular body of work, Brown uncharacteristically places his focus on a central subject: the skeletal structure of the human form. At once architectural and organic, durable yet tenuous, structured yet shapely, rigid yet porous, Brown delves into the complex contradictions of our bodily armatures. Suddenly, his “eye” motif feels more cellular in nature, and we are both bolstered by the power of our bodily forms, and yet humbled by their vulnerabilities. In a most personal way, Brown’s interest in these subjects’ stem from his beloved wife’s melee dealing with Grand Mal seizures so intense that her convulsions have resulted in broken vertebrae on multiple occasions. Unpacking this experience, Brown’s work examines the micro and macro realities of these effects on the body, if not their mental and emotional consequences. Finding comfort in the meditative, reflective property of the process of their construction, Brown internalizes the realities of our interiors, finding order out of chaos, and beauty out of trauma.
Living and working in Baltimore City, David Brown has exhibited in New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Florida, Texas, California, Virginia, and Illinois. His work is included within myriad private and public collections throughout the United States, including notable designations such as BWI Airport, Microsoft’s Art Collection, and various boutique hotels.