Cecily Brown - Contemporary Art Part I New York Monday, November 8, 2010 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York; Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gagosian Gallery, Cecily Brown, February 19 – March 16, 2002

  • Literature

    S. Cotter, “Seeing Double,” Cecily Brown: Paintings, Oxford, 2005, p. 42, fig. 1 (illustrated); D. Ashton, Cecily Brown, New York, 2008, p. 132 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Among her series of landscape paintings, this work marks a significant departure in Cecily Brown’s oeuvre.  In this more intimate, less graphic canvas, one can see a shift in both her formal approach and subject matter.  While in the past, her figures materialize within a similarly incorporeal foreground, here her subjects are concealed within a definite depiction of a landscape that simultaneously functions as its own horizon line.  The result, as the title Eclogue describes, is a pastoral poem, a fleeting dialogue between figure and ground, paint and image, the present and the history of painting.  Though the theme of this work is pastoral, it is not idyllic.  Rather, this landscape reverberates with the tension created between its form and content; between Brown’s bold brush strokes and the figures she has obscured beneath its surface.  As the artist herself explains, “I am interested in the unfixed nature of things.  I want the work to have a trapped energy so that the paint seems to vibrate in place.  I want the viewing of it to approximate the experience of being in the world.  That may be why I’m reluctant to assign fixed meaning, and why it seems necessary to keep things always in flux.” (D. Ashton, Cecily Brown, New York, 2008, pp. 25-26) 
    Brown’s practice is steeped in and inseparable from the history of painting.   She draws from the sensuality of the Renaissance masters, the gestural abstraction of Willem de Kooning and the aggressive figural distortion and attack on the senses of Francis Bacon.  Yet, her works remain entirely present as she maintains a fearless attitude towards eclecticism.  The landscape depicted in this work, therefore, can be understood as that of Brown’s oeuvre itself: “a world made up of history and painting, the ineffable engine of desire and artistic language itself, converted into a real hedonistic garden where images and brushstrokes meld into each other without respecting any sort of hierarchical criteria.” (D. Ashton, Cecily Brown, New York, 2008, p. 19)



Oil on canvas.
48 1/8 x 60 1/8 in. (122.2 x 152.7 cm).
Signed and dated “Cecily Brown 01” on the reverse; also signed and dated “Cecily Brown 2001” on the stretcher bar.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

8 November 2010
New York