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Frederick James Brown (American, 1945–2012)
LOT ID: 63536
Study for The Ascension, 1983

Watercolor, Gouache, on paper
30 х 22.5 in. (76.2 x 57.15 cm.)
Signed, and dated, lower right
Lot description
This watercolor and gouache work on paper is a study for Frederick J. Brown’s larger oil painting, ‘The Ascension’, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and was featured in the museum’s 1983 exhibit, ‘Recent Acquisitions: Ten New Narrative Paintings’. This study beautifully demonstrates the bold sense of power that his use of color brings to his representations of historic, religious, and contemporary icons.

The colorful portraits of American painter Frederick James Brown (b.1945) celebrate the lives and accomplishments of some of the most important figures in contemporary culture. His expressive and figurative work focuses on religious figures and events, iconic American Jazz musicians, and Native American subjects. In the 1970s, while represented by the legendary Noah Goldowsky, Brown set up his home/studio in the Soho area of New York City. The loft became a gathering place for artists, musicians, and poets, fostering creative/collaborative activity. In 1988, 100 of Brown’s paintings were exhibited in a solo show at the National Museum of the Chinese Revolution, Beijing, China, making him the second American artist to exhibit in China. In 2002, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO organized a retrospective of his work, ‘Frederick J. Brown – Portraits in Jazz, Blues, and Other Icons’, which traveled to The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY in 2003.

Selected Public Collections:

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
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