Speaker: Dr. Bill Brown
We are very pleased to announce that our speaker for our November membership meeting will be Dr. Bill Brown.
During the early 1950s, following his service in World War II and courtesy of the GI Bill, Brown attended Penn State, earning a master’s and doctorate degrees. There he studied under noted art figures, importantly, painter Elaine De Kooning, wife of William De Kooning. Both were critical in the development of the Abstract Expressionist Movement, the first specifically American movement to achieve international influence.
Elaine De Kooning and Abstract Expressionism profoundly impacted Brown’s artwork, as evident in several of his paintings in his exhibition last May at the Aiken Center for the Arts, specifically one created while taking De Kooning’s class. The painting demonstrates the artist’s use of wide, rapid brushstrokes of bold, intense colors to strikingly portray pure, uninhibited emotion.
After graduate school, Brown devoted 25 years of his life to teaching art courses, including visual organization, color and store planning, at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University. Although allocating the majority of his time to education, Brown experimented with optics and afterimages like other artists during the Op Art Movement of the 1960s. Using specific colors, light and pattern arrangements, Brown painted images that fascinatingly deceive and mislead.
Brown returned to his artwork full time upon retirement. Again, trees became the subject of many of his paintings, but his technique shifted, moving away from soft brush strokes and muted neutrals to post-modern angular lines and bright colors.
In addition to the two-dimensional, Brown works in the three-dimensional, creating abstract and semi-abstract sculptures of carved cherry, walnut and oak.
Brown’s wife Virginia is his,muse and valued critic. The Browns met in art school, as Virginia earned a Master of Arts degree. She is the subject of several of his best-executed acrylic and oil paintings.
He plans to share some of his expertise and will have several of his paintings and hopefully his carvings on hand, including an interesting portrait of Virginia in the style of Chuck Close.