Hirshhorn Plaza

Directions: Cecily Brown

November 14, 2002, to March 2, 2003
Born in London and based in New York City, painter Cecily Brown (b. 1969) recasts erotically charged scenes into sensuous, abstract, large-format paintings made up of vivid colors and gestural brushstrokes.

This show, Brown’s first museum solo exhibition, featured seven works, including the never-before exhibited Dogday Afternoon, 1999, in which the artist used her body to make marks on the canvas, and Bacchanal, 2001, a picture that exemplifies her more recent exploration of landscape painting. Embracing the medium of traditional oil painting, the artist redirects and subverts pictorial and thematic strategies invented by Willem de Kooning, Yves Klein, and others, creating a provocative tension between the bold formal qualities of her canvases and the intimate figurative content hidden beneath their abstract layers.

The exhibition was made possible through the generosity of Trellis Fund and contributions to the Hirshhorn’s Annual Circle, with additional support from Olga Hirshhorn. The “Gallery Talk: Meet the Artist” was supported by The British Council. A free illustrated brochure was available.

Directions Gallery, Third Floor

About the Directions Series
Since its opening in 1974, the Hirshhorn has been committed to providing a platform for the artists of today. Directions, established in 1979 as a group installation and transformed in 1987 to highlight the work of a single artist or paired artists, has been a longstanding hallmark of the Museum’s exhibition program and partnership with living artists. Bringing a diverse range of emerging and established artists from around the world to Washington, the series provides a prominent space on the National Mall for new work and new ideas.