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Cecily Brown, born 1969 in London, is a British painter. She has a great respect for art history and her works reveal her reverence and high regard for artists such as Francisco de Goya, Nicolas Poussin, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell while incorporating into her works her distinct female view point.
Cecily Brown studied B.Tech Diploma in Art and Design at Epsom School of Art, Surrey, England (1985–1987), drawing and printmaking classes, Morley College, London, 1987–1989, and BA in Fine Arts, Slade School of Art, London (1989–93).
Brown’s work has appeared at the Whitney Biennial 2004 in New York, The Triumph of Painting at the Saatchi Gallery, London and “Greater New York” at P.S. 1, New York. She has exhibited at galleries and museums including Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin, MACRO in Rome and Museum der Moderna, Salzburg. She is represented by Gagosian Gallery.
Cecily Brown’s paintings combine figuration and abstraction. Expanding the tradition of abstract expressionism, she draws her influences from painters such as Willem de Kooning. Her paintings also recall the works of Philip Guston and the Bay Area Figurative School of the 1950s and 1960s. Brown often titles her paintings after classic Hollywood films, such as The Pyjama Game, The bedtime story and The Fugitive Kind.
Brown's work has attracted the attention of collectors including Elton John and Michael Ovitz. She has become known for her painting style suggestive of abstract and abstract expressionist painters such as de Kooning and Oskar Kokoschka. Sexuality and attraction are important themes in her work, which she explores through semi-figurative and abstract means. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of several important museums and institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, New York and the Des Moines Art Center, in Des Moines, Iowa (in 2006 the Des Moines Art Center organized Brown's first one-person museum exhibition in the U.S. – an exhibition that later travelled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as well).
Cecily Brown is the daughter of Shena Mackay, the Booker-shortlisted novelist, and David Sylvester, one of Britain's leading art critics. She is married to Nicolai Ouroussoff, the former New York Times architecture critic. Brown was previously engaged to New York-based British artist Adam McEwen.
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