Riotous storms of thrashing color formed into woodland scenes are the hallmark of Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Brown’s paintings… These arcadian settings are not gently rendered, however. Brown’s palette-knife facture is anxious and harsh, rife with thick daubs and slashes. Such frenetic energy is more akin to the tumult of city life. These works suggest a peaceful emancipation, something for which many enervated New Yorkers secretly ache, but perhaps cannot voice it for fear of being perceived as lacking resolve, or worse, betraying treasonous disloyalty to the city’s often suffocating embrace.
'“I consider myself to be a feminist. Unlike many artists in my young circle in Bushwick, I am old enough to remember the ‘70s when the women’s movement was just gaining strength, creating community and dismantling the status quo. I have been in the New York art world since the early ‘80s, but things really began to look up for me professionally when I saw myself as an agent of change in my own community in Brooklyn, making opportunities for artists in general and for women artists in particular. The feminist movement has inspired me to take an activist position in my own community to program what I want to see in my artist-run gallery space, Storefront Ten Eyck, outside the commercial art world of Manhattan. This engagement with others has helped me to grow as an artist and as a person, and it’s had the added bonus of raising my profile professionally. I now see myself connected to a broader agenda. Feminism — with its foundation of egalitarianism, non-hierarchical structure, and transparent dialogue — has been, in part, my inspiration. Working together on an equal basis floats all boats, and there is no greater proof of that than the artist-run scene in Bushwick.” -Deborah Brown
Deborah Brown’s name has become synonymous with the Brooklyn art scene, thanks to her work at the helm of the gallery Storefront Ten Eyck.
Deborah Brown (b. 1955, Pasadena, CA) lives in New York and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Brown was the founder of Storefront, one of the first artist-run galleries in Bushwick. Brown earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Indiana University. She has served as a visiting artist and lecturer at Penn State University, Hunter College, Pace University, Columbia University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Art Omi.
Recent exhibition venues include Burning in Water, New York; The Lodge, Los Angeles; Freight + Volume, New York; Underdonk, Brooklyn; Spoonbill Studio, Brooklyn; Castor Gallery, New York; GEARY Contemporary, New York; Lesley Heller Gallery, New York; Mike Weiss Gallery, New York; BravinLee programs, New York; Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen; and Angell Gallery, Toronto.
Brown’s work is held in numerous museum and corporate collections and has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, Artnet News, Madame Figaro, Hyperallergic and ART-Das Kuntsmagazin.