EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS AND ESSAYS



"It's a 21st-century take on the 17th-century genre, pulled off with thrilling technique -- a postmodern fruit cocktail that marries today's fascination with genetics and the building blocks of life with old-style painterly seduction." - Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe



"Brownell has invented a unique, convincing way to synthesize Old Master realism and Modern Master abstraction--and make a metaphysical as well as social point by doing so. Both have become historical, academic, and even decadent, but the artistic future belongs to those who can find innovative ways of integrating them, so that each revitalizes the other. It is the postmodern task, as many critics and theorists have argued. Brownell is one of the few young artists who intuitively understands this, which is why her paintings--at once crisp and poignant--give one hope for the future of art, all the more so because they show that painting is far from dead, and perhaps even more importantly that beauty is still possible in art, and can still be discovered in nature." - Donald Kuspit, Professor of Art History and Philosophy



"This exploration of science and sociology of food is played out beautifully, and traditionally, in the painted surfaces of Brownell's work. The long tradition of food in European still life paintings provides the historical context for this work, a context Brownell acknowledges and celebrates through her painting technique." - Harry Philbrick, Director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum



"There is a strategy of seduction, smuggling in thought-provoking content with a lushness of presentation. The show offers up, in particular, some exceptional painting work. The imagery and execution by Mia Brownell is always striking." - Hank Hoffman, Connecticut Art Scene Blog Spot



"Brownell returns us to something that much contemporary painting deliberately eschews: figural verisimilitude and beauty. Her pictures are visually captivating. As we examine them, the sheer machinery of nature comes to mind. But so do the manipulations of the genetic biologist and the drives of agricultural markets' revealing disturbing depths in the loveliest of pictures." - Carolyn Korsmeyer, Professor of Philosophy



"Brownell's animated fruit images suggest growth and change. The small fruits writhe and multiply, coalesce and disperse, and vibrate like digestive peristalsis. These mergers of science and pleasing sustenance create visions of constant movement, as if the life of ourselves and the stuff we eat were a continuous reproductive dance. ... Brownell's paintings make us aware that our daily acts of consumption link us to the fundamental schemes of the natural universe." - Kenneth Bendiner, Professor of Art History



"The splendid surprise of a traditional formula put in service of the moment defines Mia Brownell's "Still Life with Cock (Currin)" the crown of thorns, barbed wire, DNA helix, splayed, fucked, hermaphrodite gynecology all that precision turned into vicious truth." - Stephen Vincent Kobasa, New Haven Advocate



"Brownell is on the trail of something bigger than stirred-together postmodern aesthetic. She is - and has been for the past few years - reordering the entire convention of still-life painting. She has refurbished the still life, rebuilding it piece by piece so that it can sustain a crosscurrent of contemporary themes" - Richard Huntington, The Buffalo News



"Brownell makes colorful, delightful-looking paintings of grapes and other fruits inspired by Dutch 17th-century still lifes" - Benjamin Genocchio, New York Times



"With beautiful technique, her images visually pop off the canvas. The seemingly tangible fruit, however, becomes too real and thus resonates a hyper-real quality. With brilliant finesse and skill, Brownell subtly exposes the modern food factory as the complex duality between the artificial and the natural." - Albert Chao, ARTVOICE