Biography of Cecily Brown
The paintings of Cecily Brown pulsate with the vibrant excesses and desires of modern man. Thanks to the sheer expansive breadth of human trauma as well as earthy delight that can be found in her work, Brown has rapidly risen to become one of the most sought after painters in the world. The daughter of novelist Shena Mackay and art critic David Sylvester—the champion of the painter Francis Bacon—Brown was only to find out who her father was at the age of 21.
Cecily Brown's paintings are often deeply ambiguous and unresolved. Her brushstrokes can be vivid, elegiac, but then also charming and enlivening. As she says herself she always has a lot of different ways "of saying something." Her work is often erotically charged but not just through what is depicted, but also because of the feel of human texture she manages to evoke.
Born in 1969 in London, Cecily Brown moved to New York in 1995 when her career really took off. Drawing on a wide range of art historical references from Veronese to Rubens, Brown was instrumental in the resurgence of painting at the end of the last century and is often compared to the likes of Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon. Brown's work has been seen to attack gendered assumptions about art despite many critics seeing elements of Abstract Expressionism in her work—a movement that has always been strongly attached to masculinity.
Cecily Brown is featured in many of the most prestigious permanent collections around the world including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitey Museum of American Art, both in New York, and the Tate in London. She has had solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC in 2002 and the GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, in The Hague, 2010.