previews

  • Transformations: The Art of Joan Brown

    Oakland Museum of California
    1000 Oak St.
    September 26, 1998–January 17, 1999

    A case of too much too soon—and not enough until too late—is one way of looking at the career of the late Bay Area painter Joan Brown. In her early twenties, she made the cover of this magazine with a figurative AbEx-y picture that looked like loosened-up de Staël. Then she switched: to a flat, funny, sort of Bridget Jones’s Diary version of Northern California “funk”—a regional style so centripedal in force that only William Wiley achieved escape velocity to the national scene. Now we’ll see if a two-institution retrospective can provide the horsepower to finally launch Brown as well.

    Also on view at UC Berkeley Art Museum.