Indepth Arts News: |
"Roger Brown: A Different Dimension"
2004-04-12 until 2004-06-06
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Silhouetted figures, strong patterns, sprawling landscapes, vast stylized cloud-filled skies, cityscapes with skyscrapers, and pure colors (especially blue and yellow) are the signature
motifs of the art of Roger Brown (1941-1997). The exhibition Roger Brown, A Different Dimension,
which debuts at the MMFA on Saturday, April 10 and runs through Sunday, June 6, 2004, focuses
on exactly those features in the artist’s three-dimensional works.
This distinctive aspect of Roger Brown’s career has yet to receive museum or scholarly attention and
is critical to the understanding of his contributions as an American artist. Roger Brown, A Different
Dimension, the exhibition and catalogue will introduce a new area of study with original sources and
writings concerning the career of this important twentieth-century artist.
Roger Brown was born in Hamilton, Alabama and raised in Opelika. He left Alabama for Chicago
in the early 1960s, but returned often and continued to draw from his Alabama upbringing as he
created his often satirical and thought-provoking artwork. Brown drew inspiration from his family
residing throughout Alabama and the state’s farms and plantations, outsider artists, and roadside
market stands. Beulah, Alabama is home to the James Roger Brown Rock House Museum, an
historic house that Brown was in the process of purchasing at the time of his death in order to
restore it as a home and studio for himself. After his death Brown’s brother and father completed
the acquisition, restored the house, and dedicated it as a museum to Brown.
Brown began experimenting with three-dimensional painted objects, while simultaneously painting
canvases, during his undergraduate and graduate years at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago
(1962-1963, 1964-1970), and continued to create in both forms until the end of his career. Exhibited
works will be on loan from private collections, the Brown family, and the Roger Brown Study
Collection at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. A year before his untimely death in 1997,
Brown donated his personal art collection and all of his unsold artworks to the School to be used for
educational purposes by the students and faculty of the School and the general public. The School
then purchased his Chicago home/studio thereby creating the Roger Brown Study Collection and
leaving Brown’s creative environment intact.
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts takes great pride in presenting this important exhibition
focusing on the works of one of the state’s best-known twentieth-century artists. A catalogue of the
exhibition, published by the MMFA and available in the Museum Shop, contains essays devoted to
Brown’s legacy and achievements working in three-dimensions.
Navy Pier, 1999
Color Silk Screen