June 14, 2008

Delia Brown's children

According to Brown the title of her new show at D'Amelio Terras, 'Precious,' refers to gendered attitudes toward painting. In art school during the late 80s, students were told not to be ‘precious,' which was a way of saying that paintings had to be bold, muscular, unattached, unsentimental – in a word, masculine. Brown embraces the taboo, and like a satirical Mary Cassatt, presents a rarefied, sentimental notion of maternity, propping children on her hip and reading bedtime stories. In Frieze, Morgan Falconer writes that the work is reminiscent of Jeff Koons’ "occasional satires on the baubles of the rich. Her parodies are not quite so successful, though, since they could probably pass unnoticed alongside the work of those artists who really do service the vulgar end of the market. One also misses the fascinating clashes of genre and gender that have lit up Brown’s pictures in the past: these scenes are essentially modernized, ‘feminized’ genre scenes, and they don’t give off the sparks of some of Brown’s Hopperesque scenes of women alone in the city. But her new work continues to mount a strong argument for the critical potential of figurative painting, and Brown continues to look like a girl’s best bet to take on John Currin on his own turf and kick him in the balls. It’s just a matter of time, and aim." Read more.

"Delia Brown: Precious" D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY. Through June 21.

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