Des Moines

Des Moines

Cecily Brown

Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Avenue
July 28–October 1, 2006

Curated by Jeff Fleming

It’s extraordinary that Cecily Brown has had such success with paintings based on a deeply unfashionable aesthetic—for haven’t our art-history schoolmasters taught us that de Kooning and all that flows from his influence bear the kiss of death? Yet here comes the London-born, New York–based painter wearing the ardent, de Kooning–esque heart of her impassioned brushwork on the sleeve of her lewd yet elusive images. This selection of eighteen of Brown’s gutsy, semifigurative paintings from 1997 to the present—accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by the curator, art historian Linda Nochlin, and Harvard University Fogg Art Museum curator Linda Norden—constitutes her first museum survey in her adopted country and should be a welcome reminder of de Kooning’s famous conviction that “flesh was the reason oil paint was invented.”

Travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Oct. 16, 2006–Jan. 7, 2007.