Glenn Brown’s painted portraits mine art history and popular culture to reinvigorate the painterly grotesque. Master portraits by the likes of Rembrandt, Fragonard, and Delacroix, among others, are copied from exhibition catalogues and manipulated in Photoshop to add new details, distort textures, and exaggerate mannerisms. Figures are stretched and altered, reanimating old motifs with surreal textures. He also experiments with traditional still life—from the Renaissance, rendering tableaus that are simultaneously decaying and opulent against vacant backgrounds. The presence of his paintings extends into painted bronze sculptures, veiled in high-relief pigments. Brown’s paintings and sculptures are enlivened by a degree of science-fiction fantasy entirely grounded in the present.
Brown has shown at institutions including Tate Liverpool, United Kingdom, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Museum Ludwig, Budapest, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, among many others. He participated in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and Gwangju Biennale in 2010, and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2000.