Anat Ebgi is pleased to present the first Los Angeles solo exhibition of Melissa Brown, titled West Coast Paintings. The show will be on view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd, April 2 – May 7, 2022. An opening reception will take place Saturday, April 2 from 6-8 pm.
Mining personal experiences and daily life for metaphysical and symbolic content, Brown depicts scenes that could be lifted from anybody’s memories—a jacaranda tree reflected in a skyscraper or listening to the radio on a road trip. Anonymity is further expressed in these paintings when the figure or face appears; it is obscured, fractured, consumed by its surroundings, hiding the personality of the subject from the viewer—in a cool, detached, and powerfully atmospheric way.
Brown’s work has a diaristic directness that stems from her practice of making plein air oil studies while travelling, which she uses to record color, light, and compositional elements to use in her paintings. Familiar landscapes, interiors, and still lives are transformed into surreal tableaus that straddle multiple realities and perspectives. Her imagery comes together through a collage of techniques, including screen-printed digital photography, oil, and airbrush. The artist invites viewers to peer through the window of her world, simultaneously holding a mirror up to our own. Although place and landscape have always informed much of Brown’s practice, this is the first time she is focusing on California as a subject.
Melissa Brown (b. 1974) received her MFA in Painting from Yale University and a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. In 2000 she completed the Skowhegan School of Painting program. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include NYNY2020, and Between States, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY; Melissa Brown and Jamie Bull at Dodd Gallery at University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Going AWOL, Biggins Gallery, Auburn University, Auburn, AL;Tennis Elbow, Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Past Present Future, Magenta Planes, New York, NY; Paper Fortune, CANADA, New York, NY; and Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has participated in group exhibitions at Mass MOCA, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Klaus Von Nichtssagend, Musée International Des Arts Modestes, and Jeffery Deitch, Los Angeles. In 2012 she was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painter’s Grant and a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in 2019. Her work is in the permanent collections at the Whitney Museum of Art and the New York City Department of Education. She is an associate professor in art at Lehman College, City University of New York and an organizing member of the artist-run gallery Essex Flowers. Brown lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.