The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bold photographs reveal a lifetime of looking "Tommy Brown: Upstate" at MWPAI
Tommy Brown, Rita’s 2014 © Tommy Brown.

UTICA, NY.- Pictures of people, farms, and the striking landscapes of Central New York populate “Tommy Brown: Upstate,” on view February 9 through April 7 in the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. This retrospective is a definitive look at photographer Tommy Brown’s decades-long study of his home in and around Chenango and Madison counties, NY.

“Tommy Brown: Upstate” is the first museum exhibition of the remarkable photographs Brown has composed during a lifetime of looking. The exhibition includes 42 large prints, ranging from the early 1980s through last summer. Brown will discuss his work during a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10.

Mary Murray, MWPAI head, curatorial and exhibitions; curator modern and contemporary art, said she first met Brown in the early 1990s when Brown was gallery director at the Chenango County Council for the Arts in Norwich. “In those days I was taken by his black-and-white portraits from the 1980s and was thrilled when, in 2001, he donated to the MWPAI Museum of Art one of his striking Brighton Beach images of a man lying on the sand next to his wheelchair, seen upside down from above. He could be a fallen Icarus,” she said. In 2014, the Museum acquired one of Brown’s color farm diptychs that juxtaposes the clean roof lines of barns with a farm nativity installed next to a “keep out” sign. “The pairing initially seems ironic but grows ever bittersweet, even poetic, with extended looking,” Murray said. Sometime thereafter, museum officials began discussions about exhibiting Brown’s photographs of Chenango and Madison Counties. “Because he is of this region and has lived through its seasons, Tommy’s perspective on his subject is generous. That was a big reason why I wanted to work with him on this project,” Murray said.

Brown’s earliest images include black-and-white portraits of startling frankness. His color photographs of farm structures resonate with the poetic geometry of Modernist American paintings by artists such as Charles Sheeler or Georgia O’Keeffe. Brown describes his most recent work as “pictures of nothing”; these can be remarkably simple—a single corn stalk against the horizon—and their simplicity is the distillation of all Brown has worked at for four decades, his desire to see.

Brown is sensitive to the effects of regional light in passing seasons. His consistent subject is the spirit of this place: its natural and fierce beauty, the relationship of people to the land, and the marks of the past on present-day life. Ultimately, he just wants to make a good photograph. “My subject is whatever I'm looking at. Defining it would limit the possibilities for making something new. It's much better to be free to see than be encumbered by expectations,” he says.

Brown says his medium is the visual reality of rural America. He employs the surroundings where he lives as his creative source and freely moves around with his camera as a painter would manipulate paint. “Painters talk about making their best work when their mind stops thinking and they reach a place where it's just doing. The noise of the everyday disappears and the thinking stops,” he says. “I can remember making every picture in this show and each one involved a similar experience. The picture presented itself and I just needed the wisdom to see and record it properly.”

Born in Norwich, NY, Brown earned his undergraduate degree from Colgate University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. His works are in the permanent collections of Colgate's Picker Art Gallery, Munson-Williams Proctor Art Institute, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection Yale University, Colby College Museum of Art, The Parrish Art Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, Lightwork Collection Syracuse University, The Museum of the City of New York, and many private collections.

Today's News

February 12, 2019

Ancient DNA reveals lost penguin species

Bellotto exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum transports viewers to the splendor of 18th-century Dresden

Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Detroit Institute of Arts collaborate to present a new exhibition

Lisson Gallery now representing Sean Scully in North America

New Philbrook exhibition explores the pros and cons of progress

New Orleans Museum of Art announces 26 new sculptures acquired for garden expansion

DC Moore Gallery exhibits a complete set of 'The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture' by Jacob Lawrence

Greene Naftali opens an exhibition of works by Nicolas Ceccaldi

Exhibition at Didier Aaron, Inc. brings together the artworks of six living artists who work in metalpoint technique

Exhibition aims to develop ideas for the art museum of the future

Diego Fortunato unveils installation at Christie's in London

Speed Art Museum opens a first-of-its-kind exhibition devoted to early Kentucky tall case, "grandfather" clocks

New exhibition includes a piece which furnished Madonna's suite at the Ritz Carlton

A new exhibition documents the living conditions of London's most disadvantaged children

ODETTA Gallery opens exhibition of works by three artists

Leslie Wilkes' first solo exhibition at Octavia Art Gallery on view in New Orleans

Sharjah Art Foundation announces awards granted to narrative, documentary and experimental films

New York City artist brings a touch of Harlem to the Garment District

ARTEXPRESS 2019: Presenting the next generation of Australian artists and creative thinkers

Large survey of work by Jacqueline de Jong opens at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Gallery Kayafas opens exhibition of photographs by Jules Aarons and Jack Lueders-Booth

Bold photographs reveal a lifetime of looking "Tommy Brown: Upstate" at MWPAI

Monique Meloche Gallery opens an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Maia Cruz Palileo

Exhibition at McMullen Museum of Art celebrates collecting Japanese art in Gilded Age America

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful