James Hd Brown — Oval


Collage, painting, porcelain

James Hd Brown

Past: May 20 → July 30, 2017

The Galerie Karsten Greve presents James HD Brown’s new exhibition Oval, presenting his most recent paintings from the body of work My Other House. The exhibition also features the set of unique porcelain vases made by the artist at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, in the Grand Four à Bois, in 2007. Both the paintings and the vases are shown here for the first time in Europe.

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James Hd Brown, Orb Things I, 2013 Oil on linen — 53 1/6 × 64 4/7 in © James HD Brown Courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne, Paris, St Moritz Photography : Philippe Servent

Following the Planet Paintings, which took inspiration from the Planet Suite by Gustav Holst (1914-1916), James Brown began work on the series My Other House in 2012. The set of works in the present exhibition are an integral part of this series.

The “Other House” referred to in the title of the project has no tangible existence, yet it is omnipresent. It is a space where we can write our own rules, a metaphysical place where time stands still and objects transform into something quite new. It is a site of powerful creative focus, a refuge where the mind can seek a brief respite.

James Brown has been described variously as an explorer, a shaman, a scientist, even a diviner. His approach to art is both scientific and spiritual: he methodically engages in each technique — painting, ceramics, engraving — until he has mastered it completely. Yet his works also reflect his urge to delve into the deepest essence of being.

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James Hd Brown, Orb Things IV, 2013 Oil on linen — 53 1/6 × 64 4/7 in © James HD Brown Courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne, Paris, St Moritz Photography : Philippe Servent

While the Planets series explored the universe and a concept of nothingness that, far from being an empty void, is constantly shot through by shifting molecules, the set of works showcased in the present exhibition draws the visitor into a space that lies both within and beyond the artist. James Brown invites us to peer through the windows of his secret house to glimpse the perfection of space: the oval, a classic reference, focuses the gaze, leading it into the depths beneath the painting’s surface. The night sky offered to the visitor’s eye, indeed, reflects the visitor’s soul.

Far from the Planet Paintings series and its delicate sandy surfaces, covered with a web of points interrupted by the presence of delicately coloured planets, the works in the Ovals series and its counterpart Orb Things are characterised by smooth, unruffled surfaces dominated by a dark palette, lit up here and there by molecular flashes that unsettle the viewer’s visual perception. As James Brown says, the oval format is surprising in that it can create an illusion of lack of balance, thereby taking the viewer into space as it expands, obviating the need for points of the compass. The skies glimpsed through these oval windows are mysterious: their empty-seeming blackness hides a space teeming with shapes and life.

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

5, rue Debelleyme

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 77 19 37 — F. 01 42 77 05 58

Official website

Filles du Calvaire

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • James Hd Brown