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Press Release


Roger Brown is Deadly Serious!
A gallery talk by Robert Cozzolino
Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art,
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Saturday, January 26, 5 pm
Reception to follow

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present the work of Roger Brown (1941 – 1997), a leading member of the Chicago Imagist group whose bold canvases explore postwar America. Brown's work is personal, political, and provocative, providing commentary on current events and attitudes with a strong dose of irony and a wry sense of humor. He celebrated the everyday, mined popular culture, and focused on a range of themes from urban alienation and environmental abuse to sexual intrigue and personal isolation.

Born in Alabama, Brown developed an early and eclectic interest in the material culture of the South, from folk art to comic strips. In 1962, he moved to Chicago to pursue two degrees from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By the late 60s, he was participating in a series of exhibitions with the group now known as the Chicago Imagists. These artists, including Ed Paschke, Jim Nutt, and Joseph Yoakum, shared Brown’s interest in using pop culture and its vernacular as source material. As his critical acclaim grew in the 70s and 80s, Brown explored new art forms: sculpture with found objects, theater sets, murals, and more. At 56, Brown’s life was tragically cut short by AIDS.

Since his death, Roger Brown’s work has been exhibited widely and collected by numerous major museums. Just this year, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosted the exhibition Roger Brown: This Boy’s Own Story. Traveling retrospectives of Roger Brown’s work have been organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama in 1980; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC in 1987; and Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Alabama in 2007. The latter exhibition traveled to American University, Washington, DC, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana in 2008. Brown’s work is also included in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

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