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Portrait of artist. Photo: Francois Hallard
Portrait of the artist. Photo: Francois Hallard

James Brown was born in 1951 in Los Angeles, California. He studied painting and printmaking at the Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood and then attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, from which he graduated in 1974. He spent the following years living and working in Paris. In 1978, he had his first solo exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum of Arnheim, in the Netherlands, as well as his first solo show at the Christiane and Eric Germain Gallery in Paris. In 1979, Brown moved to New York, where he worked alongside artists of the rising Neo-Expressionism movement such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel. He had his first exhibitions in the U.S. at the Shafrazi Gallery and the Leo Castelli Gallery, both in New York. At that time he also worked with the Lucio Amelio Gallery in Naples. Although best known for his abstract paintings, Brown’s artistic practice has always been eclectic and varied in his experimentation with different techniques such as ceramics, bronze, textiles and printmaking. In 1995, James Brown moved to Mexico with his young family.

In 2000, he and his wife Alexandra founded Carpe Diem Press in Oaxaca, creating, with leading artists and writers, limited-edition artist books and prints. James Brown’s works have been shown in many American and European museums. In Mexico, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca as well as the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico City have hosted important exhibitions of his recent work. The work is also found in many international private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Kolumba Museum in Cologne, the Contemporary Art Centre of Malaga in Spain, and the Tamayo Museum in Mexico City. James Brown passed away in February 2020.

Publications

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2017
James Brown. Oval

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2017
James Brown. Life and Work in Mexico

USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2012
James Brown

Texas Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2012
James Brown. Drawing & Paintings 1982/84

Galleria L´Ariete, Bologna, Italy

2011
James Brown. Papiers 1985 – 1990

Galerie Lelong, Paris, France

2011
James Brown

GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy

2011
James Brown: Eclipse

Studio d'Arte Raffaelli - Palazzo Wolkenstein, Trento, Italy

2011
James Brwon. The Realm of Chaos and Light

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2010
James Brown. Kyoto Drawing

Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2009
James Brown. Into the emptiness

Soave Arte moderna e contemporanea, Alessandria, Italy

2008
Doom

Site Gallery, Sheffield, VT, USA

2007
James Brown

Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany

2007
James Brown. Sculpture and Painting

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2007

Galerie Pierre Bergé, Brussels, Belgium

2006
James Brown: Work on Paper, 1981-2005

Fisher Landau Center, New York, NY, USA

2006
James Brown - Summer Solstice

Aidan Gallery, Moscow, Russia

2005

Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

2005

Juliana Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2005
James Brown 10 años en Oaxaca

Ex-Escuela Quintana Roo, Merida, Mexico

2004

Gallery Anthony Grant, New York, NY, USA

2004

Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag, Netherlands

2004

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France

2004
James Brown. Residencia Oaxaca

MACO, Oaxaca, Mexico

Group exhibitions
2011
Zettels Traum

Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany

2010
Vida, pasión y muerte. Viajeros en México

Embassy of Mexico and Gallery Hilario Galguera, Berlin, Germany

2008
COBRA TO CONTEMPORARY

Artnews Projects, Berlin, Germany

2008
Paysages Urbains

Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal, Canada

2007
L’épreuve du feu

Sèvres, Paris, France

2007
Capricho de Sátiro

El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico

2007
15 años, 44 obras

MACO, Oaxaca, Mexico

2006
This is not gay art now

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2005
Artist and Collector

Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY, USA

2004
Kirche Kunst Kasel

Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany

2004
New Prints 2004

I.P.C., New York, NY, USA

2004
Carpe Diem

Texas Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2003
Pictura Magistra Vitae

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Bologna, Italy

2002
Tramas y Ensamblajes

Museo de Arte Comtemporaneo, Oaxaca, Mexico

2002
VIII Salon de Arte Bancomer

Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico

2002
Dubuffet e l'arte dei graffiti

Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, Italy

2001
Propios y Extranios

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Oaxaca, Mexico

2000
Los Artistas en la Ceramica

Ceramica de Muel, Zaragoza, Spain

2000
Le Ali di Dio: Messaggeri e Guerrieri Alati Fra Oriente e Occidente

Castello Normanno Svevo, Bari, Italy

1999
Acquisitions 1997-1998

Musée d’Art Moderne, Liège, Belgium

1998
Leaf, Spine, Word, Sign; Kuenstlerbuecher

Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

1998
Bandiere di Maggio

Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples, Italy

1998
Beyond Belief. Modern Art and the Religious Imagination

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

1997
Made in France 1947-1997

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1996
En Filigrane. Un Regard sur l'Estampe Contemporaine

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Galerie Colbert, Paris, France

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