Glenn Brown and the Old Masters: Conversation Piece V: Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Brown revels in the short-lived, but no less saturated sexual vibrancy of flowers in this monumental still-life painting. Echoing the title of a 1936 painting by Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali (1904-1989) about eroticism and entropy, Necrophiliac Springtime marries elements of prolific Italian Baroque painter Bernardo Strozzi’s (1581-1644) work as well as the leader of the French Romantic School Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). The latter “lends” this epic painting a quiet, shadowed landscape that symbolically suggests the twilight of both life and the day. Within its dusky folds, Brown paints an appropriated arrangement of flowers from a lesser-known Still-Life with Carnations (date unknown) by the aforementioned Strozzi. He does so in a manner that exaggerates the odorous decay of said flowers with voluminous plumes of steam/smell – dramatizing the lyrical denouement of these colorful blossoms. As this withering mélange of carnations nears its demise, Brown ultimately creates a metaphor for the larger philosophy of his practice - oscillating between the erotics of death and rebirth in the shared tapestry of art historical languages.
– Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA