Cecily Brown (born 1969 in London) is a British painter. Her education includes a BA in Fine Arts, Slade School of Art, London (1989-93), drawing and Printmaking classes, Morley College, London between the years 1987-89 and a B-TEC Diploma in Art and Design, Epsom School of Art, Surrey, England (1985-87).
Brown’s work has appeared in a number of important exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial 2004 in New York, “The Triumph of Painting” at the Saatchi Gallery, London and “Greater New York” at P.S. 1, New York. She has shown internationally at galleries and museums including Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin, MACROin Rome and Museum der Moderna, Salzburg. She is represented by Gagosian Gallery.
Cecily Brown’s paintings combine figuration and abstraction. Expanding the tradition of abstract expressionism, she draws her influences from painters such as Willem de Kooning. Her paintings also recall the works of Philip Guston and the Bay Area Figurative School of the 1950s and 1960s. Brown often titles her paintings after classic Hollywood films, such as The Pyjama Game and The Fugitive Kind.
Brown's work has attracted the attention of collectors including Elton John and Michael Ovitz. She has become known for her painting style suggestive of abstract and abstract expressionist painters such as de Kooning and Oskar Kokoschka. Sexuality and attraction are important themes in her work, which she explores through semi-figurative and abstract means. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of several important museums and institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, New York and the Des Moines Art Center, in Des Moines, Iowa (in 2006 the Des Moines Art Center organized Brown's first one-person musuem exhibition in the U.S. - an exhibition that later traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as well).
Cecily Brown is the daughter of Shena Mackay, the Booker-shortlisted novelist, and David Sylvester, one of Britain's leading art critics, plus she is the first cousin once removed of Richard Dean.