Featured Artist

Chaos & Order | Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown in the Studio

At this point in his young life, the son of a quiet, lyrical painter is making lots of noise: building up and tearing down layers of rich pigment and cold wax, in his work, glazing, heating, melting, scratching, scraping until he finds what he was after.

In other words, the very physical young painter Andrew Brown is a true heir of the Abstract Expressionists or “Action Painters” of yore.”

The dominant movement in American painting in the late-1940s and 1950s, Abstract Expressionism was the first major development art to lead rather than follow European influences. AbEx so energized the American art scene post WWII that New York wound up replacing Paris as the world capital of contemporary art. Strictly speaking, Action Painting translates to a dynamic, impulsive attack on a surface in which paint is applied with gestural movements - scratching, dribbling, splashing - with little or no preconceived idea of what the end result will look like.

It is painting in the zone during which time an artist's creative interaction with his materials is just as important as the finished product.

The means justifying the ends.

Welcome to the world of Andrew Brown, whose show "Chaos and Order" is up at Beth Mclaughlin's Slate Gray Gallery through June.

Andrew Brown_Ethereal

A Southwest Colorado native, Andrew is the son of renowned landscape artist Gordon Brown. Father and son share a studio, a converted barn, down the road apiece in Ridgway.

So yes, the apple does not fall very far from the tree.

But while Brown père's work depicting an idealized, somewhat (or entirely) abstracted, natural world, landscapes and seascapes – on display across the street from Slate Gray at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art – feels lyrical and atmospheric, young Brown's art is raw and intense, reflecting the turbulence of hungry youth.

While both artists share is a desire to capture a mood, not the thing itself, Andrew is still testing and pushing his limits; Gordon has already arrived. He can kick back a bit and muse.

At this point in his young life, the son of a quiet, lyrical painter is making lots of noise: building up and tearing down layers of rich pigment and cold wax, in his work, glazing, heating, melting, scratching, scraping until he finds what he was after.

In other words, the very physical young painter Andrew Brown is a true heir of the Abstract Expressionists or “Action Painters” of yore.

"My dad advised me not to become a professional painter, but I was already drawing and painting in middle school and high school. Then one summer I went out to California, started painting oceanscapes and loved it. For me, painting is a moving meditation and I work off impulse. Lots of stimulants trigger me: a walk at the lake; picking up a new pigment; a podcast. I am into abstraction because not having to recreate a concrete subject –  like a body of water or a tree – helps keep me out of my head I can remain detached and involved all at once. Then, when I first start to paint, the process is unorganized and random. It’s messy, and I enjoy that. It excites me to bring some kind of order to chaos, to create something meaningful out of a blob of paint. But my dad taught me realism and abstraction really come down to the same things: shape, line, color, composition, edges."

Lots going on under Andrew Brown's roiling, vivid surfaces as he projects a feeling onto a canvas or board and infuses it with light and color.

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