A virtuoso of nerdy, sickly, occasionally beautiful hyperrealist paintings of futuristic dreamscapes and old European portraiture, Glenn Brown works from source material as various as science-fiction illustrations, Rembrandt, Dalí, and Auerbach. In the end, however, the paintings — in all their densely detailed, enthusiastically grotesque glory — are all him. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2000, the artist quickly came under attack with charges of plagiarism of a sci-fi novel cover from the ’70s. Although the accusations faded away, they highlighted his scavenger methodology: find the visual clichés of classical painting and popular illustration, then exploit them pictorially for all they’re worth. Brown’s retrospective opens this month at Tate Liverpool, with some 60 paintings and sculptures, as well as several new works.
"Glenn Brown" originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Modern Painters. For a complete list of articles from this issue available on ARTINFO, see Modern Painters' February 2009 Table of Contents.