JOAN BROWN HER BAD SELF

joanbrown1I went down to the new CB-1 Gallery to check out “JOAN BROWN HERSELF”. After fighting through mind-boggling extreme construction we came upon the Neo-SOHO gallery space that CB-1 splits with a few other blue chippy looking galleries. The project room Joan Brown’s work was in seemed small but it still head several very large paintings and some cool cardboard constructions.joanbrown3joanbrown2I loved the way she could be both complex and simplified at the same time. The paintings and sculptures were both flat and deep, simple and detailed, emotional and inscrutable. I could immediately see the connection between her work and that of Margaret Kilgallen. I feel like both were influenced by the hand painted signs you see in San Francisco. The craftsmanship of the brushwork, geometric patterning and the simplified, yet strangely emotional characters feel related.

joanbrown4It was fun to see sort of a spiritual mother to one of California’s most influential artists. It’s also pretty sad that neither of them is around anymore to make more of this beautiful work.