Lynne Margaret Brown: Berlin Artist in Residence
bringing art and life closer together.
EN // For Lynne Margaret Brown life force serves as inspiration for her expressive works of art that resonate with energy, movement and emotion. Brown finds this force in the sights and sounds of the world she is living in and the community she is surrounded by. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Lynne Margaret Brown currently lives in Berlin, Germany, and it is this understanding, experiencing two major world cities simultaneously which makes her art so lively and intense. Whether it is a large-scale drawing or a sculpture Brown’s art vibrates with the pulse and echoes of the urban metropolises she inhabits.
Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist whose art practice varies in techniques and materials, with her main discipline being the tradition of drawing. From childhood drawing is her first love, and even now while exploring other mediums and art forms her creative process typically begins with the creation of a drawing. From the act of drawing she builds upon her work emerging in the direction of collage, printmaking or sculpture incorporating various media and materials when necessary. The process of creation becomes a conversation amongst mediums. Brown explains this helps her to, “create something I feel comfortable with as an object…but I find the process more interesting, the action of the creation as more of the actual art as opposed to the object that is created at the end, which in turn creates an object more interesting as a point of discussion in the end”
Favoring action is rooted in an additional art form which Brown has studied from childhood to adulthood. Dance, “the most personal of all the arts” according to the renowned dance critic Walter Terry has held great influence of her thinking and creativity. Ballet, modern, African dance, tap and jazz, even Tanztheater, each of these different dance styles were and still remain significant in the formation of Brown as artist we know today. Dance led her to explore movement in visual arts and further develop the skill of drawing, specifically figure drawing. Her imagery, often features or references the human figure. Sometimes her images particularly focus upon the moving body as it is filled with dynamics of shape, movements and perspectives. She refers to the human figure as an architectural structure as well as a living mode for metamorphosis and transformation. To fully capture the movement and fluidity of the human body Brown frees her trademark black lines with unexpected delicacy which are often stylized.
It seems that the energy of a specific sight affects not only the conceptual but also stylistic approach and determines the overall feeling and impact of the artwork. She goes further to manipulate the line, shape, and space, adding graphic lettering and arranging the forms and composition in layers all with the aim to make her artworks come alive. In this aspiration to bring life and art closer together, even more evident in Brown’s sculpture, we recognize the influence of Arman, the French-American artist associated with the Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism) movement, an artist and mentor with whom Brown had the opportunity to work with and learn from.
Each of these influences are fundamental elements of Brown's artistic vocabulary that help us understand her versatile and complex artistic oeuvre. At this point Brown’s strong desire to try her hand in different forms of artistic expression is now leading her literally to the world of the moving image, i.e. the film and video art. As she is highly interested in action and movement it appears that this is a natural direction for Lynne Margaret Brown to go in.
Asja Nastasijevic, kulturspace
de // Die von Lebenskraft durchzogenen und ausdrucksstarken Kunstwerke von Lynne Margaret Brown sind voller Energie, Bewegung und Emotionen. Diese Energie schöpft sie besonders aus den Klängen und Bildern die sie in ihrem Alltag umgeben, aber auch aus ihrem persönlichen Umfeld. Geboren und aufgewachsen in Queens. New York, lebt Lynne Margaret Brown nun in Berlin, Deutschland, die Erfahrungen die sie in den beiden Weltstädten gesammelt hat spiegeln sich in Browns Arbeit auf eine pulsierende und lebendige Art und Weite wieder, als ob ihre Kunst zum Takt und Puls der vibrierenden Metropolen schwingt.
Brown ist eine multidisziplinäre Künstlerin, dessen Kunst zwischen verschiedenen Materialien und Techniken variiert, ihre Hautdisziplin ist jedoch das traditionelle Zeichnen. Schon seit ihrer Kindheit ist Zeichnen ihre große Leidenschaft, und auch jetzt, während sie andere Medien und Kunstformen erkundet, beginnt sie ihren kreativen Prozess üblicherweise mit einer Zeichnung. Aufbauend wendet sie Collage, Druckgrafik oder auch Skulptur auf ihre Zeichnungen an, mit der Einbeziehung verschiedener Medien und Materialien. Hierbei entsteht ein Diskurs der verschiedenen Medien miteinander. Brown erklärt hierzu, „dieses Verfahren hilft mir, mich auf das Objekt einzustellen... den Entstehungsprozess finde ich dabei persönlich interessanter als das eigentliche Objekt an sich. Die verschiedenen angewandten Techniken auf das Objekt lassen mehr Spielraum für Reflexionen übrig.
Von Klein auf bis ins Erwachsenenalter studiert Brown Tanz. „Die persönlichste aller Kunstformen“ laut dem renommierten Tanz-Kritiker Walter Terry, hat großen Einfluss auf ihr Denken und ihre Kreativität. Von Ballett bis moderner afrikanischer Tanz, über Tap und Jazz bis Tanztheater hat jede dieser einzelnen Tanzarten das Schaffen der Künstlerin bis heute inspiriert und geprägt. Tanz hat ihr verschiedene visuelle Kunstformen näher gebracht, speziell auch die des figurativen Zeichnens.
Mitunter interessiert sie sich in ihren Bildern speziell für den menschlichen Körper in Bewegung, deren dynamische Formen, Silhouette und die unterschiedlicher Perspektiven. Der Körper wird hierbei als architektonische Struktur aber auch als lebendiges und wandelbares Geschöpf empfunden. Um die fließenden Bewegungen des Körpers zu betonen, wendet Brown die für sie typische feine schwarze Linienführung an.
Es scheint als ob ein einzelner Augenblick nicht nur den konzeptionellen, sondern auch den stilistischen Ansatz beeinflussen und sich direkt auf den Gesamteindruck des Kunstwerkes auswirken. Sie geht noch weiter, indem sie Linie, Form und Raum durch die Zugabe von grafischen Schriftzügen und die Anordnung der Formen und Kompositionen in verschiedenen Schichten, manipuliert, mit dem Ziel ihre Kunstwerke zu Leben erwecken zu lassen. In diesem Streben Leben und Kunst einander näher zu bringen, noch deutlicher inBrowns Skulptur sichtbar, erkennen wir den Einfluss von Arman, ein französisch-US-amerikanischer Künstler , der mit der Nouveau Réalisme (New Realismus) Bewegung in Zusammenhang gebracht wird. Er ist Künstler und Mentor zugleich für Brown mit dem sie die Gelegenheit hatte zu arbeiten und zu lernen.
Jeder der oben genannten Einflüsse, sind grundlegende Elemente Browns künstlerischer Ausdrucksweise, die uns helfen, ihre vielseitige und komplexe Oeuvre zu verstehen. In Zukunft möchte Brown sich vermehrt mit Film- und Videokunst beschäftigen. Durch ihre große Leidenschaft für Bewegung und Tanz, ist dies eine natürliche Weiterentwicklung Lynne Margaret Browns schaffens.
asja nastasijevic, kulturspace
i was born in the flushing section of queens in new york city. i attended the new york city public school system from kindergarten through high school. during this time, i was given the opportunity to study both visual art and movement. at a very young age i began drawing and playing with art materials as most children do and my interest grew stronger as i developed. in high school i was given the chance to further develop my visual art skills as well as study movement, ballet, modern, african dance, tap and jazz. studying movement led me to focus further on the human figure. i was fortunate enough to take weekend classes in figure drawing for high school students at the fashion institute of technology in new york city. following high school, i was accepted to the visual arts program at rutgers university, mason gross school of the arts where i graduated with a bachelors degree in fine arts. after graduation from rutgers university i held various positions in art galleries and then graphic design and media companies. a few years after graduation, i was presented with the exceptional opportunity to work closely with the neu realist artist arman. working as arman’s archivist allowed for me to observe him in the studio and have small discussions at his residence/office. i remained in this position for two years. arman’s art, process and way of thinking have more recently influenced my art practice, i considered him a friend and certainly a mentor. in 2001 i received a masters degree in art and art education from teachers college columbia university. subsequent to my first graduate degree i began teaching art in the new york city school system and then eventually classes in art education within the new jersey university system. the desire to return to my own creative process as well as to build my studio practice and portfolio led me to follow my mentor, the italian artist and art educator maurizio pellegrin within a masters program in studio art at new york university. in january of 2013 i completed the program, which took place in venice, italy and commenced in berlin, germany. the ma studio abroad program assisted in the development of my studio artwork and strengthened my process along with my portfolio. in summer 2013 i was granted my first studio residency in williamsburg, brooklyn, ny at arts@renaissance. simultaneously to this residency i began studies in the mfa program through the transart institute, plymouth university (uk) and participated in a one- semester summer arts residency in berlin, germany in 2014. while in berlin i had the opportunity to create a large scale mosaic peace wall through the cityarts organization based in new york. this mosaic which has been created by international artists and community schoolchildren is permanently located at 25 große hamburgerstraße at the site of the jewish cemetery. in summer-fall 2014 i won a fellowship and solo exhibition at the scuola internazionale di grafica in venice, italy, where i continued in residency in the summer of 2015.
aside from my studio art background i am a researcher and educator, studying philosophy, aesthetics and art theory at the institute for doctoral studies in the visual arts based in portland, maine. this academic research takes place in short residencies internationally in berlin, venice, istanbul, paris, tuscany and new york. i am looking to further develop and strengthen my theoretical knowledge as well as my studio practice through experiences within this international residency.
To conduct formal artistic research using fine arts practices and materials (drawings/large scale collage painting/sculpture/photography), in combination with film, audio and visual technology.
Specifically, my artistic research will place a lens upon Berlin and daily life in the surrounding community where I live, perhaps including a personal comparison to urban metropolitan life in Queens and Brooklyn, New York (my birthplace). In essence I will create a personal response and reflect upon the global arena, issues of space, displacement, voice and empowerment occurring in this place in history and time including (hopefully) the viewpoints of a variety of participants. Themes include: dissemination and the change of significance/symbolic meaning, space, time and place through media. Deconstructing societal structure, socio economic issues / contemporary issues facing Berlin and global society (including issues such as gentrification, loss of space, immigration, empowerment and identity).
I am interested in art as metaphoric social observation. I wish to explore and acknowledge our often- universal habits and desire for social consistency and/or conformity through the juxtaposition of information acquired from people, television, magazines and newspapers. Visually this is an investigation of how we interact and react to media and each other ultimately concluding how this interaction defines and identifies ourselves in the contemporary world at this time in history (Hegelian), a time where borders and definitions are rapidly changing and becoming more global due to media and our access to information. For example, what does a Cultural Revolution mean to us now in our time? What does this mean currently in the world today? I am interested in visually deconstructing the life of the everyday person/persons and where they find their voice and source of empowerment. In this context I am able to create an (international) comparison beginning with Berlin and contrasting this with my experience growing up in New York in an urban environment. As stated above I want to explore these ideas through a variety of mediums and formats including photography, video and finally through installation (which would include elements of assemblage and re-representation of found objects including drawing painting and collage, as well as sculpture, film/video, performance and sound).
In addition, I am highly concerned with ideas of space and the way we view art and define art in a gallery setting. In my work (perhaps as a further extension post my residency) I want to explore opportunities for viewing and composing art outside the traditional gallery environment. It would be ideal to produce a site-specific or city specific project/installation that would allow me to incorporate the viewer/audience as active participant. I believe this participation can be direct or indirect taking on a variety of unconventional forms such as found or collected objects that reveal common social threads through personal habits; or through literal mediums including interviews (the current project idea) and visual media analysis, appropriation and re-creation of performance / film work based upon my subject/theme.
This work (for now) will be created based upon a mix of cultural references mixed with the philosophy of aesthetics founded in the Western European concepts and theories of Plato, Kant, Hegel, and moving through historical aesthetic philosophy towards contemporary and more diverse references such as Marx, Nietzsche, Derrida, Deleuze, Bahktin, J. Arendt, R. Luxemburg, Baudrillard and Zizek, as this work is to be informed by the readings that I am currently undertaking within my doctoral program. Current influences include artist such as Tania Bruguera, Vik Muniz, Krzysztof Wodiczko, as well as Street Art, Graffiti. I am interested in the effects of the local and cultural media on the average person and how this in turn dictates and effects their space, surroundings and identity which then will determine the next synthesis or the future, philosophically speaking. I would like when possible to incorporate the mediums of film and photography to parallel and question the effects of media and contemporary culture, i.e. influences such as music, movies, television and magazines in our day to day living in a “global society”. I want to investigate in depth informational hybrid technologies to disclose how they determine cultural paradigms in postindustrial societies, and in some territories within the global economy that still differ in one way or the other from modernity but still find a contemporary modern thread. What now brings us together on one plane of existence? As a sub categorical exploration during the residency I would like to explore “democratic” technical media devices (i.e. cell phones), their inner narratives and means to construct meaning incorporating their own technical limitations or attributes. I am particularly interested in media and devices designed for the production of sound, images and ideas. The effect of these devices, their intersection with culture, its displacement and development; and possible pretexts for its interpretation and cultural diagnosis, how they connect to the way we create meaning. Analyzing the echoes generated through technique itself in particular to the field of visual culture through production and use of imagery from the perspective of cultural studies (gender, race, class etc.), I make a distinction between linear narratives matching the "correct” use of imagery as defined by the manual and the program of the devices, and non-linear ones that break into the technique itself, not defined by it’s original use of programming, where does this lead us? This “drifting” into the unknown or twist upon the idea of the “dérive” (G. Debord) through technology and concept opens the way to random unprecedented situations in all mediums form and content. The slippage of meaning that occurs from this experience of media and information into our daily lives is a way to politicize and magnify the common administration of these techniques, creating static in the core of the device's programming, the changing of language, meaning, interpretation and its “becoming” in the future.