Brown is pleased to present Formal Play, an exhibition of American and British artists working with colour and form in painting, sculpture and drawing. Taking the foundations of abstraction, these four artists question the restricted ideas of formalism, playing with composition, form and colour.
For this exhibition, Sarah Braman has created a new sculpture, Let's Stay Desperate (again). Composed of plexiglass, found furniture and paint, the work exists as an example of failed modernism. The work highlights earlier movements of Constructivism and De Stijl, where abstraction was translated into three-dimensional form. But instead of insisting on machine or graphic production typical of these movements, Braman cuts the pieces loosely by hand and adds paint in an improvisatory manner.
Alison Fox presents a selection of new and recent paintings, of which some include hand-made frames. Though the frames allude to the traditional method of presentation, their unevenness subverts the very technique and lends the work a sculptural component. Framing outlining and highlighting the edges of the canvas fetishizes the canvas and thus objectifies the painting. The treatment of the frames also reflects the artist's interest in the decorative aspect of the work. For Fox, a painting is connected to the notions of spectacle and display space influences the final character of each work. On the canvas, Fox chooses colour intuitively, based on associations, with an awareness of previous colours and marks made on the surface. Bold use of colour and painterly strokes create both mood and space, and also create a patchwork-like surface.
Tim Lokiec exhibits his lesser-known abstract drawings. Carefully combining various drawing techniques and compositions, the works provide a delicate sense of balance, complemented by a subdued use of colour. In certain works, Lokiec inserts small figurative elements often abstracted and fractured into the image, testing stricter notions of pure abstraction and non-representation. The small bodies playfully mix the figurative and the abstract.
Lucy Moore considers the relations between image and object in her work. By attempting to create paintings that feel like sculpture and sculptures that feel like painting, the artist pushes the boundaries of both mediums. In A Plate, two pieces of glass are laid over two pieces of horizontal wooden panel, the longer of which is applied with broad strokes of green paint. Cut-out parts of discarded paintings and a smaller piece of glass are arranged on the surface of the panel. While viewing the work from a certain distance, it appears to flatten, mimicking the surface of a large canvas. However, when the work is viewed closely, a shift in the focus of perception occurs from the whole image to the material detail. In the paintings She, stop and Instructions, the canvases are articulated with discrete areas of illusionistic mark-making. Subtlte use of colour and painterly brushwork create works of suggestive abstraction.