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Alex Brown (1966–2019)

The painter and musician Alex Brown, who exhibited at Feature Inc. in New York from 1998 until its closing in 2014 and played guitar in the seminal hardcore punk band Gorilla Biscuits, has died at age fifty-two following an aneurysm. Brown’s painting often worked from found photographs from travel brochures and postcards, press materials, and the internet, which Brown then filtered or superimposed with complex, often gridlike patterns. These lent the canvases an Op art quality or a trace of digital manipulation, though they were made freehand.

Brown was born in 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa, and studied art at the Parsons School of Design in New York, eventually resettling in his hometown. In addition to his close association and frequent exhibitions with Hudson, his dealer at Feature Inc., Brown had solo shows at Gallery Min Min, Tokyo; Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva; and Twig Gallery, Brussels.

“I think that the paintings are merely voyeuristic due to the fact that the images are not mine and I find myself looking for a story within them—a story which I try to expose by boiling out the proverbial impurities,” Brown said in a 1999 interview.

“There does exist a rather quiet, if not silent, conversation between the paintings—one that arises not so much out of a common theme as out of a common hand. The subjects in the most recent work have become less of a statement and more of a simple means to an end . . . [They] embrace this amorphic, nebulous middle-ground between the simple pleasure of re-creating something recognizable and cogent, and the sheer frustration of losing that object/image.”