June 13, 2018
By Georgina Coburn
Photo by and copyright Georgina Coburn
Nestled in a listed timber building, layered with time and industry, I find Colin Brown working on his latest painting. Natural light from the window streams in on the easel, illuminating layers of detail and experience. For twenty years Brown’s studio in the Northeast coastal town of Stonehaven has been a harbour for his practice. For an artist driven to excavate cumulative human marks, it’s a welcome place of regeneration. Here he can sift materials gathered from his travels and transform them into dynamic, finely balanced compositions.
Brown’s distinctive work combines painting and collage techniques, formal design and accidental marks in ways that evoke the passing of time and experience of generations. We feel that these highly crafted surfaces could be sections of city walls plastered over with signage, subject to erosion and the density of human life. Unlike many post Warhol contemporary artists that use urban fragments, Brown’s emphasis is not mainstream cultural references or commentary. The energy of European cities like Berlin with their human history and vibrant reinvention, free his work from the dead shine of American Pop Culture.
The foundation of Brown’s practice is figurative art and the discipline of painting that dominated Scottish Art of the 1980s. Whilst a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Brown observed a generation of Scottish artists strongly focused on humanity including Stephen Campbell, Joyce W Cairns and Ken Currie. He also discovered...
Read the whole article at the Kilmorack Gallery website