John Brown

Brown's paintings have been described as "survivors of their own making." His process is immensely labour-intensive: a single work can take years to complete. The solitary act of applying paint, building imagery and then aggressively reducing the piece back down to its core, only to begin again, encapsulates this repetitive pattern of sublime creation and violent destruction.

Said to awaken "latent memories," Brown's paintings approach the human psyche from a shared plateau of collective experience. His paintings are not only seen, they are felt: emotionally and physically. The artist states that each painting, "inherently promises that there may actually be a future. Any act of creation is optimistic. Any act of creation is about hope."

 

 

EDUCATION

1977-81
Ontario College of Art, Toronto, ON

1979-82
Bachelor of Arts, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON


 

SELECTED SOLO SHOWS

2011
WILDE Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2010
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2009
Book Launch, Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2008
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON
Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), Toronto ON

2006
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2005
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2003
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2001
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2000
Galerie Eric Devlin, Montreal, QC

1999
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

1997
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

1995
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

1993
Costin & Klintworth Gallery, Toronto, ON

1990
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1989
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1988
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1986
Laurentian Museum and Art Centre, Sudbury, ON

1985
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1984
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1981
Gallery 76, Toronto, ON

 

 

SELECTED GROUP SHOWS

2008
Inventory #1, Wilde Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Mnemonic Devices, Gairloch Gardens Oakville Galleries, Oakville ON

2003
Galerie Im Kornhauskeller, Pro Arte Ulmer, Kunststiflung Ulm, Germany
Painters 15, MOCCA, North York, ON
Works on Paper, Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

2002
Painters 15: Canadian Painting Exhibition, Shanghai, China

1999
Galeries René Blouin, Montréal, QC

1996
Traces, Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, ON

1991
Working on the Fringe, Redeemer College, Ancaster, ON
John Brown, Marc de Guerre, Rae Johnson, Carmen Lamanna Gallery,
Toronto, ON

1989
University of Guelph Alumni Art Exhibition, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, ON

1988
The Body and Society, The Embassy Cultural House, London, ON
Figurative Force, The Gallery, Stratford, ON
Northern Artists, The Office of the Premier, Toronto, ON

1987
Written Images, Touring Exhibition: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Glendon
Gallery, Toronto; Laurentian Museum Art Centre, Sudbury; Oakville Galleries, Oakville, ON

1986
Ecrans politiques, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, QC

1985
Toronto Now, Sarnia Public Library & Art Gallery, Sarnia, ON
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON
Toronto Painting, Touring Exhibition: Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St.
Catharines, ON; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON; Edmonton Art Gallery,
Edmonton, AB; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB; The Gallery, Stratford, ON

1984
Toronto Painting, Touring Exhibition: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB; Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Frederiction, NB
Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON
Expron, Centre international d'art contemporain, Montréal, QC
Galerie Aufbau-Abbau, Berlin, Germany
Content - Context, Mercer Union, Toronto, ON & Open Space Gallery, Victoria, BC

1983
Commentary 1982-83, 49th Parallel Gallery, New York, NY & Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, ON

1982
Monumenta, YYZ, Toronto, ON
Mayday Show, The Funnel, Toronto, ON
Three Icon Makers, Chromazone, Toronto, ON

1981
University of Guelph, ON

1980
A.C.T., Toronto, ON

 

 

PUBLICATIONS

2008
Bently Mays, John, Liss, David, Lee, Dennis, John Brown, (Toronto: Museum
of Contemporary Canadian Art)

1988
Grosman, Penny-Lynn, Figurative Force (Stratford: The Gallery/Stratford)

1985
Gascon, France, Écrans politiques (Montréal: Musée d'art contemporain de
Montréal)

1984
Burnett, David, Toronto Painting '84 (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario) Expron
(Montréal - Centre international d'art contemporain)


 

 

PERIODICALS

Moy, Craig, Hot Art: Editor’s Pick, Where Magazine, June 2009, p. 49

PREVIEW, Canadian Art, Summer 2009, p.29

Hirschmann, Thomas, Art and Soul: The Donovan Collection, NOW, January 8-14, 2004,p.48

Bracket, Donald, John Brown, Canadian Art, Fall 2001, p. 103

Top 20 Artists Since 1981, NOW, October 25-31, 2001

Hanna, Deirdre, John Brown’s Abstract Quest for Perfection, NOW, October 2-8, 1997

Rhodes, Richard, Toronto Life, Winter 1996

Holubizky, Ihor, Fast Forward, Canadian Art, Spring 1993

Young, Jane, Distinguishing Features, Vanguard, December 1988

Artist's Project, Land: Sleep, Impulse, Winter 1985, p. 26

Artist's Project, Stage Directions from a Play Mythologizing a Place of Birth, C Magazine,
No#4, 1985, p. 36-39

Hume, Christopher, The Season in Review, artmagazine, Spring 1983
 

 

SELECTED REVIEWS

Dault, Gary Michael, Visual Arts Review: Erasing, for me, is really a form of drawing, The Globe & Mail, Feb. 23, 2008

Dault, Gary Michael, Globe Review: Exhibit A Distressed, The Globe & Mail, Sept. 1, 2006

Dault, Gary Michael, Gallery Going, The Globe & Mail, Toronto, January 15, 2005

Dault, Gary Michael, John Brown at Olga Korper, The Globe & Mail, Toronto, April 26, 2003

Mays, John Bentley, Passionate Paintwork: A Brief Love Affair, The Globe & Mail, Nov. 1, 2003

Mays, John Bentley, This punk lived on, National Post, April 28, 2001

Dault, Gary Michael, Painting as archeology, The Globe & Mail, Toronto, May 12, 2001

Dault, Gary Michael, A meditative journey, The Globe & Mail, Toronto, March 13, 1999, p. C13

Mackay, Gillian, Gallery Going, The Globe & Mail, Sept. 27, 1997

Brackett, Donald, Painterly Inclinations, The Financial Post, Sept. 13, 1997, p. 22

Mays, John Bentley, Curator traces four good reasons to renew love affair with art, The Globe & Mail, August 3, 1996

Mays, John Bentley, A carnal vocabulary for the human body, The Globe & Mail, Dec. 2, 1995

Taylor, Kate, Figure as Metaphor, The Globe & Mail, November 8, 1993

Hume, Christopher, Quiet artist's works speak louder than words, Toronto Star, November 4, 1993

Mays, John Bentley, Male body supplants feminist concerns in art of the '90s, The Globe & Mail, March 17, 1990

Mays, John Bentley, A 'Lifting and Spanking Machine' and the building of male identity, The Globe & Mail, March 9, 1990

Mays, John Bentley, Tortured portrait proof Brown is back on track, The Globe & Mail, Oct. 1, 1988

Mays, John Bentley, Parts add up to intriguing whole, The Globe & Mail, March 20, 1985

Mays, John Bentley, Carefully chosen symbols, The Globe & Mail, February 16, 1984

Hume, Christopher, Artist despairs of social violence, Toronto Star, February 10, 1984

Fraser, Matthew, Artists' religion inspires dark visions of the world, The Globe & Mail, July 25, 1983

 

 

 

COLLECTIONS

Art Gallery of Ontario, ON
The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd.
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON
CI Mutual Funds, Toronto, ON
Claridge Collection, Montreal, QC
The Donovan Collection, St. Michael’s College, Toronto, ON
Gluskin Sheff & Associates, Toronto, ON
Granite Club, Toronto, ON
Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON
Mask Management, Toronto, ON
Mercantile Bank, Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Oakville Galleries, Oakville, ON
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto, ON
Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto ON
Scarborough College, Scarborough, ON
Sunlife, Toronto, ON
TD Canada Trust, Toronto, ON
The Bank of Montreal, Toronto ON
The National Club
Tiger Management LLC, New York, NY
Tory, Tory, Deslauriers & Binnington, Toronto, ON
UBS, Toronto, ON
Upper Deck Company Ltd., Toronto, ON
Vortex Holdings Inc., Toronto, ON