Marc Straus

Gallery

Brown’s vernacular has its roots in American Pop. Almost all work begins with recognizable, common objects from daily life—lawn chairs, mirrors, brooms and pails—which then goes through a painstaking hand-crafted transformation. These objects still retain their essential characteristics, but are entirely remade in different and unexpected materials. Thus, they are handmade–ready-mades in the lineage of Robert Gober. Like Gober, Brown’s works mine the everyday and memory. Gober’s tenderly handmade Sink With Drainboard comes from his memory as a child of his grandmother’s sink. Brown’s father makes a living as a welder – Brown reverently transmutes this into formal welded works of art. Michael pulls objects from the everyday-paintbrushes, brooms, lawn chairs and more – the things we might neglect and renews them. He brings to light both what they were and what they have become.

In his signature work, Brown hammers a mirror causing a pattern of cracks emanating from the impact point. He then meticulously traces the pattern and rebuilds the mirror in highly-polished hand-cut stainless steel with the cracks purposefully and precisely sculpted. These intentional dysfunctional mirrors are beautiful objects; they assert that we see imperfection in a different light. The New York Times wrote in 2008, “It freezes an act of anarchic rage into a lovely, spidery web.”

At age twenty Brown was included in a seminal museum exhibit of 12 US graduate students at Hudson Vallery MOCA, Peekskill. Within a year his work was included in shows at David Zwirner, Zwirner and Wirth, and with representation at Yvon Lambert Gallery in Paris and New York. A small work of Brown’s on the floor of David Zwirner gallery stood prominently beside the “big names” – Hatoum, Bourgeois, Whiteread, and Gober- in the 2011 exhibition “The House Without the Door.” Brown’s contribution was a small house painter’s brush with a black handle crafted from melted Neil Young records.

Life intervenes. Two representing galleries closed and Brown with urgent pressures withdrew from the studio for a few years. In May 2018 he was included in the first Westchester Art Triennial, and reopened his studio.

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Selected Works
2019
Acrylic on canvas, Brass
60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Untitled

2019
Acrylic on canvas, Brass
60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm)

 -  Marc Straus Gallery
Untitled, 2019 (detail)
Hand-cut stainless steel on panel, artist's frame
61.3 x 49.75 inches (155.7 x 126.4 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
In The Meantime...

Hand-cut stainless steel on panel, artist's frame
61.3 x 49.75 inches (155.7 x 126.4 cm)

 -  Marc Straus Gallery
In The Meantime... (detail)
2015-16
Hand-cut stainless steel on panel, walnut frame
80 x 48 x 2.5 inches (121.9 x 203.2 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
In the Meantime...

2015-16
Hand-cut stainless steel on panel, walnut frame
80 x 48 x 2.5 inches (121.9 x 203.2 cm)

2018
Aluminum and stainless steel
Dimension Variable -  Marc Straus Gallery
Desperately Optimistic

2018
Aluminum and stainless steel
Dimension Variable

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