Glenn Brown

Gagosian Gallery (21)

As an appropriationist painter whose technique is as close to perfect as one could imagine, the challenge for Glenn Brown has often been simply to choose the most interesting source material. And while he has emphasized the extent to which he manipulates rather than merely reproduces his selections, he has yet to unveil a genuinely radical act of transformation. That this is Brown’s first solo exhibition in New York comes as something of a surprise—after all, he’s been on the YBA list since it was first typed up—but this show ultimately points to an artist happy to remain comfortably within a set of self-imposed limitations.

Previous bodies of work have seen Brown immerse himself in the oeuvres of artists as outwardly diverse as Frank Auerbach, Salvador Dalí, biblical romanticist John Martin, and sci-fi illustrator Chris Foss. Occasional rows have broken out over alleged copyright

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