Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce Hannah Brown: Hollow Pond on view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles from March 8 through April 20. This is Brown’s first solo exhibition in the United States and with the gallery. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 8 from 5 – 7pm.
Her sensitive depictions of Hollow Pond, which she describes as a “sliver of wilderness” near her home on the outskirts of London, establish her as one of the most interesting artists working in the historied genre of landscape painting. For the exhibition Brown created a suite of large scale oil on canvas paintings, as well as more intimately scaled oils on panel. Surrounded by main roads with buses and ambulances whirring by, the pond itself is something of a holdout with a history that captured Brown’s attention. What appears to be a bucolic oasis on the edge of urban development, is in reality a byproduct of the Victorian building industry; after the industrialists dug up gravel materials, the pits left behind filled with water and over time the site became a man made nature reserve.
Within the history of landscape painting—many artists have been identified by a particular place or area they repeatedly returned to in their work. Brown continues this tradition, frequently visiting Hollow Pond to observe seasonal changes, subtle shifts in light throughout the day, or other minor occurrences. She makes prominent these impressions, such as mud that has turned orange through iron-oxidation or algae bloom that appears in multiple works. Brown indulges formal pleasures using a menacing radioactive green while transforming the familiar pond into something alien and strange, or feminizing the sky with a pink chalkiness as an intervention on naturalism and observation.
Brown’s engagement with tropes of landscape takes many detours—avoiding blue skies, pretty flowers, and wildlife—she taps into all the ideals of nature and the countryside without being saccharine. Her perspective is low to the ground, peering through bushes, viewers may sense they are voyeurs or wanderers, just off the path taking in the “anti-vista.” By nature, landscape painting has deeply romantic associations. Brown’s ordered and objective titling structure resists the poetic or lyrical impulse. Instead they serve almost as a catalogue or index of time, named for the site they depict, each one numbered sequentially upon completion. In turn the paintings take on a clinical distance and consistency. Together the paintings in Hollow Pond question the use and value of bucolic imagery, how we perceive reality, and our psychological relationship to the natural environment.
Hannah Brown (b.1977, Salisbury, England) completed her BA in Sculpture at Central St. Martins in 1999 and her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2006. Recent exhibitions include: Arcadia and Elsewhere, James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY; Arcadia for All? Rethinking Landscape Painting Now, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds and Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK; Entwined: Plants in Contemporary Painting, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, UK; If you forget my name, You will go astray, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; I Stood Still, Frestonian Gallery, London, UK; This Muddy Eden, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, UK; Before Long, Union Gallery, London, UK; The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; and The Annotated Reader, curated by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts, Cork Street Galleries, London, UK; among others. In 2021 she was featured in the John Moores Painting Prize. Her work is held in private collections internationally, including Japan, Korea, Switzerland, U.A.E, UK & USA, and has been acquired for the permanent collections of the State Art Collection of Ireland, Dublin; the V&A Museum, London and the Xiao Museum, Rizhao, China. Brown lives and works in London.