Thank You For Your Childhood
THE GALLERY WILL BE CLOSED NOV. 23-26 FOR THE HOLIDAY, REOPENING SATURDAY, NOV. 27.
PARKER JONES is pleased to announce Thank You For Your Childhood, an exhibition of recent paintings by Los Angeles artist Heather Brown. Thank You For Your Childhood will be on view from November 6 through December 4, with an opening reception on Saturday, November 6, from 6 to 8 pm. This will be the third exhibition at Parker Jones’ new location, 8545 Washintgon Boulevard, Culver City, CA.
Brown’s paintings wear their history and physicality up front, arranged over time with aggressive and surprisingly subtle technique. Sections of each canvas are built, sanded, reconstituted; different viscosities of paint reveal, push through, or conceal other layers of process. The decision-making behind each painting appears through thoughtful yet compulsive working and reworking, her discordant palette collapsing and expanding pictorial space.
Through this surface construction, Brown involves various genres of painting in different bodies of work: landscape, interiors, geometric abstraction and pattern, to name the most frequently quoted. With each engagement, Brown distills and combines its characteristic tropes, ultimately resulting in something more personally significant. The human body is central within this process, and sometimes presented directly in painted image. In previous work, small figurative vignettes appear unpredictably, shifting the scale of the painted ornamentation to a backgrounded psychological architecture for the figure. Meanwhile, singularly abstract canvases veer toward the gaze – the view through a window, the protection from behind a screen or iron railings. Corporeal presence becomes implied within viewership.
Thank You For Your Childhood departs somewhat from these previous efforts, favoring denser motif work without the punctuation of human form. Each canvas is again the labored result of both filtering and synthesis; Brown pieces together Formalist detritus, resulting in an illusionistic and personalized update of this somewhat sterile style of painting. Resulting bric-a-brac patterns reflect an interiority, both psychologically and pictorially, in their references.
The grid is on the face of many of these new works. Brown sometimes leaves this formal device as is, other times transforming it to reflect architectural elements of the interior – a wallpaper-like lattice, or screening blocks. Meanwhile, circular or curvilinear forms interrupt this formal construction, simultaneously becoming part of and breaking down the pattern in the same canvas. Optically awkward, these geometric bodies elusively hover between standing in with or off of the space created by Brown’s patterning. Each painting flickers between its gestalt image and the relationships between its constituent elements. Only "Dark Matter," 2010, gives a piece of the material world: an empty white chair sits in the foreground, facing a hovering cloud of transparent geometric forms.
Heather Brown was born in Berkeley, California. She received her MFA from UCLA in 2002 and BA from UCSB College for Creative Studies in 1999. Brown most recently had a solo show of her drawings at Parker Jones in 2009 and has been included in group shows at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, and Angles Gallery, Los Angeles. In 2007, she was included in "The Third LA Weekly Annual Biennial". Brown lives and works in Los Angeles.