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Michael Brown “An Object is Just Material”

Submitted by on Saturday, 24 January 2009No Comment

michael brown

Reinvention is vital to Michael Brown’s (b. 1982) work. Frequently, he uses everyday objects such as a six-pack of aluminum cans or lawn chairs. The artist’s latest body of work converts vinyl records into household items. Seemingly simple in nature, Brown’s works are the product of a philosophy that is the hallmark of his oeuvre, with each object possessing a poignant history and message that refers to its origin. The artist’s subtle transformations of these mundane items have roots
in both minimalism and Duchamp’s readymades.

For this exhibition, Brown has melted stacks of record albums and re-cast them into a variety of common domestic objects, replacing their original parts with the vinyl. The artist hand-selected records by musicians that he considers to have unequivocally contributed to the history of Rock-and-Roll. Each cast object consists of records by a single musician or band: The Ramones records become fan blades; Marvin Gaye vinyl turns into a paintbrush; Elvis albums are transformed into a bucket; and his Aretha Franklin collection converted into a mop handle.

The technological simplicity and vintage feel of vinyl appealed to the artist when he began collecting records during his teens. Embracing the connection that vinyl maintains to a culture less contrived, less dominated by over-marketed popular music of the 1990s, the record came to symbolize the artist’s desire to distance himself from his own culture by using a simpler process. For Brown, as the collection grew, the vinyl record took on a new significance: that of an object. Brown questions not only the extent to which the physical object affects the experience of music, but also whether such associations remain
intact once the original nature–or perceived function of the material–has undergone dramatic alteration.

Michael Brown’s work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at venues including the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH; Yvon Lambert, Paris, France; Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY; Zwirner and Wirth, New York, NY; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY; Yellow Bird Gallery, Newburgh, NY; Dorsky Center for Curatorial Studies, New York, NY.

Yvon Lambert Gallery, 550 W 21st St, NYC, 212-242-3611, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, thru July 31 www.yvon-lambert.com

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