Cecily Brown

Paula Cooper Gallery
524 W 26th Street
Open by appointment only
New York
Chelsea
Oct 15th — Nov 21st

Find out more | Schedule a visit

Cecily Brown’s solo show at Paula Cooper Gallery presents 13 large-scale paintings with the grandiosity—but none of the resolution—of history painting. The canvases, a mad-dash flurry of impassioned strokes, disclose the influence of the 17th century Flemish painter Frans Snyders, whose nature mortes initially assault the vision with violent, almost abstract dashes of color, before cohering into the carcass of a rabbit, fillets of red-fleshed fish, geese with great plumed wings spread wide. Brown’s new work—evocative also of thick forest glens, Bacon’s swatch of fleshy reds, de Kooning’s scribbled and obscured women — is similarly dense and streaked, but never quite conforms into recognizable shapes for long.

The paintings’ process of making is plain to see: the strokes close but thinly applied, the grain of the linen peeking through the thin curved residue of the brush that lifted paint off canvas. A couple of visual motifs thread their way through the works—I plotted cherry stems across Picture This (2020) and Stranded (2020), and met pairs of eyes, usually feline, in the maelstrom of multiple canvases. The lushness of these paintings is captured in their titles, which sometimes allude to a vanitas-like chaos and plenty—Lobsters, oysters, cherries and pearls (2020), The Splendid Table (2019-20), The Demon Menagerie (2020)— and are at other times evocative in what they suggest: When this kiss is over (2020). In Selfie (2020), orgiastic flesh in the foreground leads into a splendid interior in the background, the orthogonal strokes suggesting a salon-style hang of paintings, the curved ones tracing a round mirror reflecting riotous color. Ultimately, though erudite in her art historical references, Brown finds her own oeuvre just as rich: the five-panel Of nothing something still (2019)works over four digital printed copies of one of her own paintings, as well as the original. “Now I can steal from myself as much as from other artists,” she says.

Cecily Brown, When this kiss is over, 2020. Oil on linen, 89 x 83 inches.

  • Through
    Jan 23rd 2021

    Americana—its iconography and occasionally sickly nostalgia—is the breeding ground for new photorealistic acrylic on canvas paintings by Ed Ruscha.

  • Through
    Jan 30th 2021

    Through a series of new clay sculptures, Sally Saul probes themes of innocence, sorrow, vulnerability, and mortality during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Paul Chan's fifth solo show with Greene Naftali features antic and oblique drawings made to accompany his publisher's new translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Word Book.

  • Through
    Jan 30th 2021

    All created during the months of quarantine in his Ridgewood studio, Jack Pierson’s five assemblages on view in a solo show at Kerry Schuss Gallery herald a new direction for his work.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    Etel Adnan’s second solo show at Galerie Lelong presents a series of tapestries that are reminiscent of the Persian rugs of the artist’s childhood, as well as a new series of oil paintings and a single leporello.

  • Through
    Feb 8th 2021

    Fashion design meets exhibition design in “About Time,” which pairs garments that tell a linear narrative of history with those that disrupt that retelling in celebration of the Met’s own storied past for its 150th anniversary.

  • Through
    Jan 9th 2021

    At Martos Gallery, themes of ruin and rebirth intermingle in a temporally ambiguous landscape influenced by art-duo TARWUK’s memories of Croatia’s struggle for independence in the 1990s.

  • Through
    Dec 20th

    Known for her provocative photographs, Heji Shin’s new series of large-format photographs depicting roosters offers a welcome respite by way of wry critique.

  • Through
    Jan 23rd 2021

    George Condo’s two-floor solo show at Hauser & Wirth admits us into the cavernous, conflicted, and chaotic space of his own mind during the multi-pronged crises ravaging the nation.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    The “20/20” group show at David Zwirner, drawn from the gallery’s program, features a range of work created this year, in 2020.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    For her third solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery, Julie Mehretu divided her new paintings into two categories: that which she made before the pandemic—and that which she produced while on lockdown. Her starting point? The Book of Revelations, obviously.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    In "Heaven Ship," Clark Filio debuts a number of his signature sci-fi inflected oil paintings that meditate on real-world world-building.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Judy Chicago’s opulent and monumental banners, shown for the first time in the U.S. at this solo show at Jeffrey Deitch’s gallery, engage in a feminist world-building—but can also be read as rhetorical, or even fatalistic.

  • Through
    Feb 20th 2021

    In this solo exhibition of Frank Auerbach’s portraits and landscapes from the last fifty years, favored sitters and landscapes are revisited with the artist’s signature impasto strokes and belabored canvases.

  • Through
    Jan 16th 2021

    Featuring work from between 1988 and 1991, “Cartoon Jokes” is the first show dedicated to the large-scale silkscreens appropriating New Yorker cartoons from the high art chieftain of low American culture, Richard Prince.