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  • Frederick Brown Bio Image
  • Frederick Brown

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Frederick Brown American Artist: b. 1945-2012. Frederick J. Brown (February 6, 1945- May 05, 2012), was a Chicago-raised artist. His paintings draw on many sources, including his African-American, Seminole and Choctaw ancestry, his religious upbringing, and the folklore of the South. He referenced religious, historical and urban themes in his work, but was especially noted for his numerous portraits of jazz and blues artists. In 1988, Brown had the largest retrospective by a Western artist in the People's Republic of China, and he is the only Western artist to have had an exhibition at China's national museum in Tienanmen Square. Frederick James Brown was born to, mother, Geneva Brown and, father, Andrew Bentley in Greensboro, Georgia on February 6, 1945. Soon the young family moved to Chicago, during the Second Great Migration, because of greater opportunity in Chicago as opposed to Georgia at the time. Brown was raised in a Methodist household near the steel mills on Chicago's South-side, which at the time was a working-classneighborhood comprised Eastern-European Immigrants, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Brown attended Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) and studied architecture. After learning the fundamentals of architecture at CVS, Brown attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (SIU). Brown graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1968 with Bachelor's degree in Art and Psychology . At SIU Brown was an assistant instructor of art and was included the University's 1968 group exhibition. In 1970 Brown had his first one-man show at the Illinois Bell Telephone Gallery in Chicago. That same year Brown moved to New York City's SoHo, a neighborhood which at the time home to many artist and musicians. Brown embarked on the development of theories combining visual art and music with jazz musicians Ornette Coleman and Anthony Braxton, who was a childhood friend of Brown's. These collaborative multi-media efforts culminated in 1972-73 when Brown wrote, directed, and produced the play entitled "Be Aware," a production combining visual arts, dance, and poetry. In addition to painting and executing commissioned works, in 1974 Brown taught African and Afro-America Art History at York College, City University of New York. The following year, in 1975, Brown was the guest of the President of Liberia and completed three major commissioned paintings for the Government of Liberia. Additionally lectured at the University of Liberia, where Brown attracted tremendous attention through his artistic activities. In 1977 Brown produced two video works, "Stolen Moments" and "Portrait of a Painter". "Stolen Moments" presented the dance of three leading New York dancer, while "Portrait of a Painter" showed Brown himself in the act of painting a large two-piece work. Music by Anthony Braxton served as the background to both projects. In 1978 Brown commenced a series of paintings inspired by and based on Braxton's orchestral music. The following year he employed his architectural skills in the design and construction of two artists' studios, each based on the premise of architecture as sculpture. Brown taught art at the Central College of Fine Arts in Beijing for periods in 1985 and 1987. Furthermore, during this time Brown was the subject of a short film which aired on Chinese national television and documented his first visit. In June 1988, Brown's exhibition in China's the Museum of the Chinese Revolution commenced. The show featured 100 of Brown's expressionistic paintings and drawings created from 1968-1988. Brown's exhibition was considered a success and made him the first Western artist to exhibit his works in the Museum of the Chinese Revolution in Beijing. In !993, Brown unveiled "the Assumption of Mary" at Xavier University of Louisiana.The painting is currently the largest religious work of art on canvas at three-stories tall. A year later Brown unveiled "the History of Art", a series of 110 paintings chronicaling the progression of art through human history, through his own personal interpretation. To this day Brown's "History of Art" is on display in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design's Café Sebastienne (named after Brown's daughter Sebastienne). Listings wanted by Art Brokerage.

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