Press Release

Paintings and Drawings-
Three Decades

 
Jul 1 - Aug 14, 1998


During July and August, the George Adams Gallery will exhibit paintings and drawings from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s by Joan Brown (1938-1990) in honor of the Joan Brown retrospective opening at the Berkeley Art Museum and Oakland Art Museum this coming September.

Joan Brown's artistic career spanned three decades, cut short only by her tragic death at age 52 in an accident in Prasanthinilayam, India in 1990. One of the preeminent artists of California's Bay Area, she was just 20 years old when she had her first solo exhibition at San Francisco's Spatsa Gallery in 1958, the same year she received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1960, a  year after she received her MFA, she had her first solo exhibition in New York at the Staempfli Gallery and was included in the Whitney Museum's "Young America" exhibition. In the thirty years that followed, Joan Brown had regular solo exhibitions with galleries in New York and San Francisco as well as one-person exhibitions at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the University Art Museum, Berkeley, the Akron Art Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others.

The current exhibition features representative paintings and drawings from each decade of Joan Brown's career. From the 1960s, for example, there is a large and important early self-portrait, Bob, Sultana and Guard, 1961. Based on a contemporary photograph taken during a trip to Spain, the painting shows the artist along with her second husband, the artist Manuel Neri, dressed as Moors and accompanied by her dog, Bob. There is also a large ink drawing of models in the studio from the same year. Works from the 1970s include drawings from the Mary Julia and David series, New Year's Eve #2, a large canvas depicting Joan and her third husband, the artist Gordon Cook, on their way to a masquerade party,  a large enamel Woman and Dog with Chinese Rug, and a small birthday self-portrait from 1978. Among the works from 1980s is a portrait drawing of Donald (her favorite cat) and an unusual copper and enamel triptych, Marching Jaguars: Morning, Noon and Night. The exhibition will be supplemented by additional works over the course of the summer.


Exhibition Checklist

Clockwise from right:


1. The Colonel in the Garden of Allah, 1972,
enamel on masonite
90 x 48 inches

2.  Woman and Dog with Chinese Rug, 1975,
enamel on canvas
84 x 72 inches

3.  Self-Portrait at Age 39, 1978,
enamel on canvas
17 1/2 inches in diameter

4.  Model in Room with Black and White Painting, 1972,
enamel on masonite
90 x 42 inches

5.  Sultana, Bob and Guard, 1961,
enamel on canvas
72 x 72 inches

6.  Models in Studio with Powerful Lights, 1961,
ink on illustration board
30 x 40 inches

7.  Grey Cats Guarding Platter, 1973,
enamel, masonite, sparkles
48 x 96 inches

8.  Mary Julia & David #9, 1976
acrylic, pencil on paper
36 x 24 1/8 inches

9.  Mary Julia & David #5, 1976,
acrylic, pencil on paper
36 x 24 1/8 inches

10. New Year's Eve #2, 1973,
enamel, collage on canvas
72 x 84 inches

11. Mary Julia & David #1, 1976,
acrylic, pencil on paper
36 x 24 1/8 inches

12. Marching Jaguars, 1983
enamel, copper on panel (3 panels)
24 x 48 inches (each)

13. The Adolescent Cat, 1983,
lithograph, crayon on paper
28 1/2 x 22 inches

14. Golden Gate Bridge, 1987,
woodcut/lithograph
36 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches