MIA BROWNELL: Plates to Platelets
and Other Things That Travel and Bind
Curated by Simon Zalkind
January 11 – March 8, 2018
Opening reception: January 11
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
'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
January 12 - February, 2018
Featured in the summer issue of At Buffalo page 22! :)
Sloan Fine Art Salon
Featuring small works by
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
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.
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
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
Recent Reviews of the HMA exhibit!! Up until November 17th!!
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
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 RZella@hcc.commnet.edu or
(203) 332-5052. Visit the HMA website: www.HousatonicMuseum.