For this special Open Courtauld Hour we are pairing up with artist Cecily Brown for an in conversation that spans the processes of Cecily’s craft to the end result. Focusing on Cecily’s commission, and formulated around Courtauld students questions, this event will allow an intimate insight into the artists studio, her motivations and inspirations.
A specially commissioned large-scale painting by the contemporary artist Cecily Brown is currently on display at the top of the Courtauld’s staircase, revisiting the early history of the building. Cecily Brown’s works, with are often large in scale are renowned for their use of rich colours and a dynamic form that intersects figuration and abstraction.
Unmoored from her reflection, 2021, is shown in the curved wall at the top of the 18th-century staircase at The Courtauld Gallery and is due to stay in situ for three years. In the 18th Century, a painting by Giovanni Battista Cipriani occupied the same location when this part of Somerset House was home to the Royal Academy of Arts. The commission is within close proximity to the Weston Gallery and the LVMH Great Room on the Third Floor of the Gallery which houses the Courtauld’s iconic collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces.
Unmoored from her reflection reflects Cecily Brown’s deep interest in the paintings in the Gallery’s collection. Her work engages with the theme of continuity and renewal in the great tradition of painting that is so fully reflected in The Courtauld collection by the likes of Rubens, Manet and Kokoschka.
This Open Courtauld Hour, an in conversation between the artist Cecily Brown, Barnaby Wright (Deputy Head of The Courtauld Gallery and Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art) and Leyla Bumbra (Research Forum Programme Manager), will traverse the commission, Cecily’s inspirations, processes and materials. The event will allow attendees to ask Cecily questions about this work.
This online mini series will provide concise one hour packages of pop-up talks, performances and in detail object study sessions that explore and celebrate our collection, research in art history, curation and conservation.
Most importantly, as art is relevant to all, these informal sessions will give attendees the chance to access, engage and read art and art history through a different lens— revamping and rethinking art historical discussions through retelling hidden stories. These episodes will platform new perspectives, new ways into art practice, looking at art and reading its history through themes that impact us all.
Cecily Brown was born in London in 1969, and now lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions include: Cecily Brown, Blenheim Art Foundation, Blenheim Park, England (2020), We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea, Thomas Dane Gallery, Naples, Italy (2019); Cecily Brown, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek, Denmark (2018); Triumph of the Vanities II, The Metropolitan Opera House, New York (2018); If Paradise Were Half as Nice, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo; travelling to: Museo Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil; The Iberê Camargo Foundation, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); Cecily Brown: Rehearsal, MCA Santa Barbara, CA (2018); Cecily Brown: Shipwreck Drawings, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England (2017); Cecily Brown: Rehearsal, The Drawing Center, New York NY (2017); Madrepora, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England (2017). Public collections include Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY; Tate, London, England.