In a time when most everyday activities (note-taking, letter-writing, game-playing) have moved to the digital realm, Becky Brown’s highly-labored works on paper and obfuscated sculptures question whether unlimited access to information and communication actually brings us deeper knowledge or human connection. Using found images, objects, and texts, Brown indulges in density, repetition, and abundance to address the excessive stimulation of an infinite, ubiquitous internet. Her wall works take the form of oversized notebooks, maps, games and other tools increasingly replaced by digital substitutes. Composed of found text and images including news articles, literature, speech, advertising and photo-journalism, they aim to slow down reading, writing, seeing, and thinking. Meanwhile, piles of discarded objects—personal and anonymous—are stuffed together in obsessive, futile attempts at storage. Painted in thick, solid colors in an effort to unify a heterogeneous heap, these pieces reflect our changing relationship with the material world.
Becky Brown was born in Manhattan and currently lives in Buffalo, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Arts+Leisure Gallery (NYC) and Fort Gondo Complex for the Arts (St. Louis). Group exhibitions include The Drawing Center (NYC), Queens Museum (NYC), Freight+Volume Gallery (NYC), A.I.R. Gallery (NYC), NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), YoungArts Foundation (Miami, FL) and Religare Arts Initiative (Delhi, India). Her installation “No, said the Fruit Bowl,” in the kitchen of an abandoned home on Governors Island, was described by Ken Johnson in his New York Times review as “machines vomiting as if in a bulimic’s nightmare.” Brown has been an artist-in-residence at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Jentel, and the Edward Albee and Saltonstall Foundations, among others. In 2018, she received a “Bronx Recognizes Its Own” Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts. Her art criticism has been published in Art in America and The Brooklyn Rail. She received her MFA from Hunter College and currently teaches at SUNY University at Buffalo.