Delia Brown, “Precious”
D’Amelio Terras, New York
May 8 – June 21, 2008
D’Amelio Terras is pleased to present Precious, new oil-on-panel paintings by gallery artist Delia Brown. Works on view present the latest in Brown’s continued, staged performances where she and her friends act out scenes of complicated desire.
The intimately detailed works are reminiscent of the 19th century scenes depicted by Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot. According to Brown, “The title, Precious, also refers to how attitudes about paintings are gendered. In painting school during the late 80s, one was told not to be ‘precious’, which was a way of saying that one must instead be bold, muscular, unattached, unsentimental – in a word, masculine.”
Precious shows the artist entering portraits of maternity, propping children on her hip or cozying up in rumpled sheets for story-time. Brown has created images by which she investigates maternity without the compromises of real motherhood, but perhaps too, without the rewards.
Brown has also offered cherubic stills of children alone, gazing back at the viewer amidst their snacks and toys. Stepping out of the frame, the artist captures 11-year-old girls, primping in the bathroom or leisurely playing with their puppies against fine fabrics and furnishings. The luminescent layers of paint recall the delicate decadence of the Rococo painters while the subject, girls apart from their mothers, idle their time in a Balthusian tension where innocence teeters on the cusp of naughtiness.
Delia Brown has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States. In 2007, Brown’s “Felicity & Caprice” opened at D’Amelio Terras, and “Guerrilla Lounging” showed at Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, Colorado, accompanied by a catalogue. In 2006, her first museum show at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI focused on self-portraiture. In 2005, D’Amelio Terras organized “All Access Atelier” at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France turning the gallery into a fully functional painting studio in which Brown painted from live models in constructed environments. Delia Brown received an MFA in painting from UCLA in 2000 and currently lives and works in New York.