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Cecily Brown, Untitled (Ladyland), 2011, watercolor, 10 1/2 × 14 1/8".

New York

Cecily Brown

Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street
October 7 - December 18

Curated by Claire Gilman

When I see a stellar work by Cecily Brown, I feel excited. There’s the audacity of execution—that messy control that courses through so much of the art I love, even among old masters. Brown is frank regarding her references to the great artists of the past, whether Veronese, Rubens, or Hogarth, and no less so about the modernist masters before whom she bends the knee: De Kooning comes to mind, and Gorky, even Picasso. “Rehearsal,” the artist’s first solo museum show in New York, will contain roughly sixty small canvases and a few very large drawings, several exhibited for the first time, affording viewers a unique opportunity to consider Brown’s work as a whole, and demonstrating that her draftsmanship is nothing if not painterly. If many of her thematic topoi remain resplendently out there, from the comparatively decorous ribaldry of Thomas Rowlandson’s eighteenth-century erotica to the more robust contemporary sensuality of Sasha Grey, at their best her compositions proffer an invitation to a glamorous party—a party that casts a spell.