Glenn Brown: Suffer Well: Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, France

14 May - 11 September 2016
Solo Exhibitions
Glenn Brown: SUFFER WELL
Installation image at the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles 2016
13 May - 11 September 2016
image © Glenn Brown Studio 2016

Among contemporary British artists, Glenn Brown is one of the most unusual and most unique. Yet the last retrospective of his oeuvre in France dates back to 2000. Largely unknown to the French public, Glenn Brown’s art presents us with the suggestive force of his translations of reproductions of works by earlier masters, his “atomization” of painting, and the inexhaustible inventiveness of his practice, which appropriates the styles and outlines of drawings and classical paintings. Brown’s interpretative, innovative hand brings to life an ensemble of marks and sinuous lines that interweave and echo each other on the surface of an artwork. Emanating from his works – whether drawings or paintings – is a plural, blurred and fluid reality, whose visual ambiguity evokes that peculiar to our own “postdigital” epoch.


The drawings Glenn Brown has been pursuing since 2013, as an autonomous means of artistic expression, maintain a thematic and visceral relationship with his paintings as well as with his sculptures. The majority of the sculptures on show here have been produced specially for the exhibition at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles. Glenn Brown’s activities in three media – painting, sculpture and drawing – are thus seen side by side for the first time in France in the context of a major exhibition.


As in the exhibition “Van Gogh in Provence: modernising tradition”, the genres that Glenn Brown treats in his oeuvre belong to a western visual tradition. The portrait and the still life reflect the conventions of different styles and epochs – German Realism, mannerism, the Baroque and modernism – which the artist invokes via his paintings and drawings. The European painters of the past provide him with a set of references that he acknowledges as the starting points for his own interpretations. Glenn Brown thereby distances himself from the original, which he atomizes and renders more complex.