Brown is primarily known for vigorous, large-scale oils that blur the boundaries between figuration and abstraction, or, perhaps more accurately, render figures in abstract terms; her snaking, libertine incrassations make steaming hash of the Renaissance, unmooring pathos and narrative from their stodgy compositional prerequisites. Her dynamic canvases transform paint into flesh, using viscera as the groundwork for commentary on desire in all its shimmering, fractious ambiguity.
Drawing on the ethos of predecessors like de Kooning, Brown subverts painterly conventions of the female nude by invoking the grotesque, the repugnant, and the ineffable. Still, there’s no shortage of generosity and humor in Brown’s work, and her signature harshness never gives way to cruelty, preferring instead to articulate the shared existential mire of human embodiment. Bodies, not just gorgeous or sinful ones, are faulty, and gross, and so often needless; Brown does not shy away from our frailties, but rather constellates them, and her edgeless testaments to want and its discontents pulsed far too loud to avoid notice.