In memoriam, Roger Brown

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 » By lstone » See more posts from Uncategorized

Today, (November 22, 2017) is the 20th anniversary of Roger Brown’s death, also the 54th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Reflecting on Brown’s extraordinary career, his insightful, incisive depictions of the world, and his exceptionally generous gifts to the School of the Art Institute, following is a modest tribute, a selection of 20 works––a small sampling from over 900 possibilities.

Assassination Crucifix, 1975, oil on wood construction, 70 x 46 in.


Misty Morning, 1975, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 in. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. For Barbara Rossi.


Chain Reaction (When You Hear This Sound You Will Be Dead), 1977-78, oil on canvas, 72 x 96 in. Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, NY. For James Connolly.


The Devil’s Surprise, 1980, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in. For Greg Brown, who, if he could own any one of his brother’s paintings, would own this, as it so aptly expresses the Brown brothers’ feelings about reversing the “church hurt” they experienced.


Lake Effect, 1980, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 in. Roger Brown Estate and Kavi Gupta. For Jana Wright.

Memory of Sandhill Cranes, 1981, oil on canvas, 60 x 96 in.


IRA PLO FALN, 1982, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in.


Peach Light, 1983, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in. Roger Brown Estate and Kavi Gupta.


American Landscape with Revolutionary Heroes, 1983, oil on canvas, 84 x 144 in., North Carolina Museum of Art.


The Final Arbiter, 1984, oil on canvas, 72 x 108 in. Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. For George Veronda.


Arrangement in Blue and Gray: The Artist and His Friend Fishing, 1985, 72 x 48 in. Roger Brown Estate and Kavi Gupta


Family Mourning Tree Print, 1987, color relief print, 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.


Lost America, 1989, oil on canvas, 85 1/2 x 49 3/4 in., Chicago History Museum


Ancestral Homes of the Type Utilized By My Forefathers: Shotgun; Dog Trot; Slab-End; Log Houses, 1990, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in.


Twentieth Century Plague: The Victims of AIDS, 1995, Italian glass mosaic, 10 x 14 feet. Installed in the lobby of the Foley Square Federal Center in lower Manhattan. Brown’s statement:
On this ancient cemetery site below the modern skyline of New York City a contemporary tapestry of human faces, each made thin and hollow by the ravages of AIDS, descends like some medieval nightmare into a mosaic of death heads in memory of those of all races who have suffered and died too soon.


Virtual Still Life#15: Waterfalls and Pitchers, 1995, oil on canvas, painted wood, ceramic vessels, 37 1/2 x 50 x 9 in. Flint Institute of Arts. For Nicholas Lowe.


Calif. U.S.A. With Astonished Couple, 1996, oil on canvas, painted wood, ceramic vessels, 48 x 60 x 12 in. For Linda and Dolores Cathcart.


Bonsai #2, Climbing with the Cascade (Kengai), 1997, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in. Roger Brown Estate and Kavi Gupta.


Untitled (garden arch, shadow falling) 3rd to last sketch in Roger Brown’s last sketchbook, drawn in from 1993 – 1997. Roger Brown Study Collection Archive.

Roger didn’t teach much (formally) during his life, but he’s been teaching robustly, posthumously, for the last 20 years. We are eternally grateful for Roger’s gifts to the School and the world.

Lisa Stone, 11/22/17









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