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Ladder & Key


WINTER 2018 IN DENVER. New Paintings exploring a limited palette.

MIA BROWNELL: Plates to Platelets

and Other Things That Travel and Bind


The Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities

University of Colorado at Denver

Curated by Simon Zalkind

January 11 – March 8, 2018

Opening reception: January 11


Goodwin Fine Art

1255 Delaware Street, Denver 80204

January 12 – February 24, 2018

Opening reception: January 12

In this new series Plate to Platelets: and other things that travel and bind I simultaneously draw on scientific images of platelets (tiny blood cells shaped like plates) and the history of the painted food still life. My inspirations focus on the 17th century still life tradition of plates being painted on the precipice of a table’s edge (often looking like they are about to fall) and how platelets rush to the site of damage to repair. I fantasize about what the cultural/social equivalents to platelets could be, as well as, other things that travel and bind in and outside of our bodies.

These paintings dissect and interweave fundamental elements of nature, food, and culture – of movement, and impulse - that might be labeled theatric. My motivations stem from the confluences between the seductive excesses of food culture, the vanity and illusionism of traditional still life painting, and the constructed spaces of computer generated scientific imaging. I imagine the entanglement between the consumerist idealization of food with its biological engineering and the molecular strains that then interact with our bodies. The space I paint attempts to capture this paradoxical perspective, one that is equally rational and fantastical, material and in constant flux. If we are what we eat, what are we becoming? These entanglements reveal a new nature of food and the cultures that adopt or are dependent on it. Food and science have become dynamic fields for both exploration and manipulation and we are made vulnerable and powerful by it.   


Stand Still - A Still Life Show @ Allouche Gallery
OPENING Thursday, October 26 from 6-9
Allouche Gallery
82 Gansevoort St NYC

Take Home a Nude/New York Academy of Art
Sotheby's NYC
Wednesday, October 11 from 6-8  


'Plate to Platelets: and other things that travel and bind'

New Paintings by Mia Brownell exploring biology and still life as metaphor for fragility and strength.  Opening January 2018 in Denver:

The Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities

University of Colorado at Denver

Curated by Simon Zalkind

January 11 - March 8, 2018

Goodwin Fine Art

1255 Delaware Street, Denver  80204  303.573.1255

January 12 - February, 2018


Featured in the summer issue of At Buffalo page 22! :)


Sloan Fine Art Salon
Featuring small works by 
Mia Brownell, Susan Siegel, Aaron Smith, Brad Woodfin 
At Bert Green Fine Art, 8 S Michigan Ave Suite 620, Chicago, IL 60603
Reception: Saturday, May 14th, 5 to 8pm

Exhibition: May 14 through June 25, 2016
Gallery Hours: Friday and Saturday, 12 to 5pm and by appointment 

Working on new paintings for the Fulginiti Pavillion Gallery located on the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado. The Exhibition is planned for Fall 2017 and is being curated by Simon Zalkind.


Paintings are currently on display in Hong Kong and New Haven!

I have several paintings on display at the US Embassy in Hong Kong and at the new gallery at Southern Connecticut State University! Watch Consul General Clifford Hart talk about my paintings : Click HERE. 

Contributor to Alix Sloan's new book "Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists". Pick up your copy on Amazon.

Honored to be the Keynote Speaker at the Connecticut Art Education Association Conference in Cromwell on 10/28/15 !!

My work is featured on line with Contemporary Aesthetics


If you find yourself in Denver next week please swing by Goodwin Fine Art to see 'Conventional Biopolymers' ! I will at the opening on Thursday, June 4th from 5-8pm sharing a few new pieces.

Happy to be joining Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, and others in supporting Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center opening Thursday, June 11 at 7pm. Tickets now available:

Thanks to another generous Connecticut State University Grant I will be attending The 2015 World Expo in Milan and the 56th Venice Biennale! 


The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Visualized

February 4 - April 25, 2015
Curated by Barry Rosenberg
University of Connecticut

830 Bolton Road

Storrs, Connecticut 06269
Participating artists: Janine Antoni, Robert Gober, Jake and Dinos chapman, Alexis Rockman, Roxie Paine, Frank Moore, Sharon Core, Agnes Denise, Jim Shaw, Simon Periton, Keith Edmier and a choice group of emerging artists.

Mia Brownell: At the still point, there the dance is.
March 19 - April 23, 2015
Opening Thursday, March 19
Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery
Hepburn Hall, Room 323

2039 Kennedy Boulevard

Jersey City, NJ 07305

Gallery hours: 11:00am - 5:00pm, M-F, and by appointment

Tel: 201-200-3246
Curated by Midori Yoshimoto

Mia Brownell, Holly Lynton, Melanie Sherman
June 5 – July 18, 2015
Opening Thursday, June 4
Goodwin Fine Art
1255 Delaware St
Denver, CO 80204
Tel: 303-573-1255


Recent Reviews of the HMA exhibit!! Up until November 17th!! 

--. New York Times. Image published in calendar of Connecticut Metropolitan Section. October 26, 2014. pg 9. 

Dunne, Susan. "SCSU Teacher Exhibits 'Delicious, Disgusting' Paintings" Hartford Courant. October 14, 2014. 

Nord, Kristin. "Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting: Mia Brownell Mixes art and Science" Art Scope Magazine. September/October 2014. pg 48-49 


Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting:

Paintings by Mia Brownell 2003-2013 at the
Housatonic Museum of Art

Bridgeport, CT—Twenty-eight of Mia Brownell’s paintings will
be on display at the Housatonic Museum of Art in the Burt Chernow Galleries from September 25th thought November 17, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 25, from 5:30pm until 7pm. This event is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Luscious and sensuous, Mia Brownell’s paintings invite us to
indulge in “earthly delights” and are themselves ripe with sexual innuendo. Jennifer Anne McMahon writes in her essay, Beauty, that “evolutionary psychologists explain beauty as the kinds of tones and contrasts and shapes which are a sign of fecundity in a person (usually a female). Beauty is conceived as simply a sublimation of desire whose original teleology is procreation.” The surfaces of her canvases, laden with gorgeous fruit at the peak moment of perfection, allude to carnal appetites. Author Elspeth Probyn says that “…sexuality is often paired with food as a way of exploring different
modes of sensuality.” Brownell walks a fine line between the artistic and the interesting, whetting the viewer’s appetite by stimulating the senses yet creating a space for detached contemplation.

And what Brownell asks us to contemplate is the brevity of life. “We begin in the madness of carnal desire and the transport of voluptuousness,” wrote the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, “we end in the dissolution of all our parts and the musty stench of corpses.” Seventeenth century Dutch still-life paintings of tables laden with gastronomic delights served to remind viewers that all things perish but Brownell’s fruits invite us to relish the sweetness
of now.

But Brownell’s subject matter also raises contemporary issues surrounding the politics of food: sustainability, genetic modification, and commodification of life (plants and animal) as well as the policies affecting production, distribution and consumption. Food, like art, generally provides pleasure if not in the making of it, most certainly in
the consuming of it and, as we begin to feast our eyes on her appealing images, we realize that something is amiss—these offerings, though beautiful, are unpalatable. Disgust, an emotion, affects every aspect of human activity, from political affairs to affairs of the heart.  It occupies the space between death and life, both ever-present conditions. By juxtaposing the natural and the artificial Brownell critiques the biotech industry: ripe apples and juicy grapes look manufactured rather than vine-grown and the double helix alerts us that they may be the strange mutations of transgenic organisms.

Brownell’s subversive use of an established genre fuses the known with the unusual “offering us excitement—visual pleasure, and as Baudelaire says, ‘The beautiful is always strange,’ by which he means, of course, that it is always strangely familiar and vaguely surprising.”

Mia Brownell’s travelling solo show, Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting, premiered at J. Cacciola Gallery in New York, and is a ten-year survey of Brownell’s paintings (2003-2013). The exhibit has travelled to the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey; Juniata College Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut."

Gallery hours: Monday-Friday from 8:30am until 5:30pm, Thursdays until 7pm, Saturday from 9am until 3pm and Sunday Noon until 4pm. For further information contact Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art at or
(203) 332-5052. Visit the HMA website: www.HousatonicMuseum.


Above image: Still Life with Ghost, 2014 Available at Friesen Gallery


Housatonic Museum of Art! Last stop for my traveling exhibition 'Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting' and first solo show in CT. Opening September - November. Check back for details. 


Sparks, Heather. "'Molecular Still Lives'Show the Science in Our Food in Us" Nautilus Magazine. August 8, 2014 

Gouveia, Georgette. "Still Full of Life" WAG Magazine. July 2014 

Goldstein, Darra. "Precise Ambiguities" (Traveling Exhibition: Hunterdon, Juniata, and Housatonic Art Museums,2014) 

Maloney, Judy. "Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting: Ten Year Survey 2003-2013" (Traveling Exhibition: Hunterdon, Juniata, and Housatonic Art Museums,2014) 

--. "Genetically Modified Organisms: GMOs & Wellness" SVPN Magazine. Spotlight feature pages 140-141. April/May 2014

Brownell, Mia. Post Road Magazine. Issue 26. Featured on cover. 2014

Brownell, Mia. "The Adventures of a Reluctant Omnivore" Works & Days Quarterly. No 10, Spring 2014 

Voynovskaya, Nastia. "Preview: Mia Brownell's 'Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting' Traveling Exhibition" Hi Fructose Magazine. December 27, 2013
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