Alice Browneʼs paintings look to be made without much fuss: tracts of colour laid on top of one another in brush-marks that vaunt their pathways; over and under presented in transparent combat. To say that they reveal their own making is an understatement. The very simplicity with which each canvas is made amounts to a resolve and directness that interrogates ʻWhat are you looking at?ʼ — a question more asserted than asked.
For all the literalism of their stacked up layers, Browneʼs paintings present their viewers with illusions, evoking recessional space through their build up of thin surfaces. Shapes describing openings, windows and archways present hints of perspective, quoting the architectural devices used in art history, from the arches that depict distance in Renaissance paintings to Francis Baconʼs theatrical demarcations of volume.
Browne cites the representation of depth in photography and film as well as in painting as a point of departure for her work. Furthermore she is fascinated by the architectural incisions of Gordon Matta-Clark that turned buildings and the space they enclosed into highly visual collages, and her works affect something similar in reverse: the suggestion of volume through emphatically shallow depths. She is interested not so much in space as it is directly perceived, but in the ways in which it is perceived once it has been depicted: in space flattened into two-dimensionality and the tricks used to enact this translation. In these paintings abstraction seeks not sublimation but its opposite: an immersion in worldliness, and revelation through its cultivated effects.
-Gair Burton, 2011
Alice Browne (B. 1986, Oxford, based in London) gained her BA Fine Art: Painting at Wimbledon College of Art (2009). Recent solo and group shows include 'Cave', Jerwood Project Space, London (2011); 'Young British Art' curated by Ryan Gander, Limoncello, London; 'Creekside Open', Selected by Dexter Dalwood, APT Gallery, London (2011); 'Fade Away', Gallery North, Newcastle and Transition Gallery, London (2011) and 'New Contemporaries', A Foundation, Liverpool and ICA, London (2010).