How many exhibition works:
NEW YORK CITY — A series of mixed media artworks by the Canadian artist Corran Brownlee will be presented at GR Gallery from December 15, 2023 – January 13, 2024. The exhibition, entitled “FORGE,” features 15 recently completed paintings, including 5 from last year which provided the genesis of the new pieces. Ranging from medium to large-scale, and using oil, acrylic, and inks, Brownlee is investigating moments of profound change –– internal and external, private or public –– that affect all of us. This is his first solo exhibition in New York, and with GR Gallery; since 2018, he has shown in London, Los Angeles, and Calgary.
This event marks a new departure for Brownlee, as is always the case with his practice: growth is an essential part of his process. Until now, he has used only black and white tones, with an emphasis on story, allowing the viewer to collaborate via adding their own narratives. Here, color has been introduced for the first time. Using a palette reminiscent of fire, lava, the sun, embers, heat, space, water, ice, and love, he presents a much more abstract world. His figures and bunnies –– familiar presences throughout his body of work –– have moved closer to the surface, allowing a more intimate engagement. Movement is intensified, and emotions are heightened. Control is elusive, but surrender is power. The unexpected carries a complex, destabilizing beauty. Brownlee holds a deep admiration of our connection to the stars in the sky, our provenance from them, and the wild upheaval of a supernova explosion. “I’ve always liked the idea of rebirth,” he says. “You can always do it. You can start again, change, and grow.”
These elemental energies range from still to chaotic, rough-edged to precise. While Brownlee offers the viewer an all-seeing eye –– we can observe the bunnies’ bones, notice the wallpaper masking unseen details –– his gesture is to offer his own insights into the journey of life, reflecting back our own new beginnings and paths forward.
ABOUT CORRAN BROWNLEE
Born in Calgary, Corran Brownlee has been creating and selling his art since his early twenties, and has lived in London, New York, and Los Angeles. He explores notions of love, loss, growth, and the human struggle, and his surrealist, symbolist, style evolves continuously. Strongly drawn to storytelling, his images often evoke powerful responses in his viewers, some of whom become collaborators –– many cinematographers, actors, composers, fashion designers, and screenwriters have been deeply moved by his work and created their own art in response. In recent years, his output has intensified, spurred in part from a walk on a cold January night during which he encountered a lone white hare, “with its back turned, leading us into the unknown darkness ahead of it,” he explains. “No tracks to follow on the fresh show. No details to be distracted by. Just a simple image of hope. It felt like a new beginning.” Since then, much of his discipline and lifelong influences (such as Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, and Alfred Hitchcock) developed a new focus, propelling Brownlee into a new chapter of his practice. His work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout Europe and North America; he currently resides on the West Coast of Canada.
Concurrently, in our project room, we will present a refined selection of 4 new works by the Japanese artist collective 3 (three). Established in Fukushima in 2019 is a unit of three artists. Their three-dimensional works and installations encompass an amalgamation of familiar objects, such as anime and video game figurines or fish-shaped soy sauce containers. The subject of their works is multilayered with a strong sense of contradictions in the relationships between "production and consumption," "the crowd and the individual," or "the local and the urban," as an attempt to visualize the aspects of contemporary society-filled irony.
The artists slice manga and anime inspired figurines, melt them into barely recognizable or unrecognizable fragments, then reconfigure their remains into wall-mounted sculptures mirroring the precise dimensions of iPads and flat-screen televisions. Through the recomposition of these screens, 3 critiques the reception of knowledge engendered by new technologies and the ways in which they have changed our ability to process information.
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