|Joan Brown, The Vanity, 1973; painting; enamel on canvas, 84 in. x 72 1/8 in|
"...[Joan Brown] is an artist who is equally in love with her intuitions and the history of painting. Brown is a fancy painter, but in the good sense: you can imagine her being surprised by her own inventions....Brown paints as if she were a born mimic of different styles, and that might explain why she isn't after the unity of any one style. She wants to mix together as many ways of painting as possible, and see if some new clarity comes out of impurity." - excerpted from a 1976 review by Sanford Schwartz.
|Joan Brown, Bather #3, 1982|
|Joan Brown, After the Alcatraz Swim #3, 1975|
Joan Brown (February 13, 1938 – October 26, 1990) was an American figurative painter who lived and worked in Northern California. She was a notable member of the "second generation" of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.
She was born in San Francisco and studied at the California School of Fine Art (now San Francisco Art Institute), where her teachers included Elmer Bischoff. She achieved prominence with a style of figurative painting that combined bright color, sometimes cartoonish drawing, and personal symbolism.
Brown was married to Bay Area Figurative sculptor Manuel Neri from 1962 to 1966, though their relationship and artistic collaboration dated back several years prior to this.
In the late 1970s, Brown became increasingly interested in spirituality and New Age ideas, eventually becoming an adherent of Sathya Sai Baba. She made a number of trips to his ashram in Puttaparthi, India. In 1990, she died in a construction accident while installing an obelisk at the Sai Baba's Eternal Heritage Museum in Proddatur, India.
Brown was also a competitive swimmer.
|Joan Brown, Fur Rat, 1962|
|Joan Brown, Untitled (Bird), 1957-1960; sculpture; cardboard, fabric, string, wood, and electric wire, 12 in. x 6 in. x 8 in.|
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