This rich, colorful retrospective celebrates the offbeat, inspired, and highly original artistic career of San Francisco–born painter Joan Brown.
This exhibition catalog accompanies a retrospective exhibition of prolific San Francisco–born painter Joan Brown (1938–1990), the first significant survey of her work in more than twenty years.
Joan Brown charts the turns and devotions of a vision that was once dismissed by critics as unserious but was in fact rooted firmly in research and impassioned curiosity that remains uniquely compelling today. Deeply embedded in the Bay Area art scene, Brown drew inspiration from many sources to create a charmingly offbeat body of work that merges autobiography, fantasy, and whimsy with weightier metaphysical and spiritual imagery and themes. Featuring texts by curators Janet Bishop and Nancy Lim as well as essays by Solomon Adler, Marci Kwon, and Helen Molesworth, this lavishly illustrated book establishes Brown’s relationship to the self and family, to art history, and to her wider artistic community, while examining the unique materiality of her paintings and exploring her singular vision. In addition, select Brown works will be paired with commentaries by contemporary artists ranging from friends and peers, such as Ron Nagle, to younger artists inspired by her work, such as Woody De Othello.
Published in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, November 19, 2022–March 12, 2023
Carnegie Museum of Art, May–September 2023