Angels & Demons
August 31 -October 2, 2021
As far as we know, humans are the only animals that reason and converse about metaphysical invisible beings. We have a long history of believing in a non-physical essence that exists independent of our physical substance. We have even endowed ourselves with a mystic quality: some call this the Self, others Consciousness, others the Soul. The drawings in Clint Brown’s upcoming exhibition are his attempt to visually converse about these invisible entities. They are also an act of resistance— his attempt to keep those angels and demons at bay. As he says, "To keep laying down my marks in defiance and to heed Dylan Thomas’s poetic advice: 'Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.' ”
Above: Clint Brown, Dumah, the Angel of Silence, 2020, charcoal and black conté on gray paper, 72 x 42" unframed, $500
Above: Clint Brown, The Four Horsemen Series: (Left to Right) Pestilence, Famine, War, Death, Charcoal and conté crayon, each panel 72 x 26”, 2020, $4000
Brown recently celebrated his 80th birthday. When he turned 50, it dawned on him that he had probably already lived more than half of his life…now he is sure of it. The combination of age and the Covid pandemic got Brown thinking more about the end of life and of death’s mystic apparitions, Angels and Demons.
Brown spent much of his career teaching life drawing classes and encouraging students to be what Socrates thought of as deceitful artists—those individuals who create only false illusions of reality. But the reality is that so much of what we know and have come to understand about the world has come to us by way of those false illusions—our symbolic representations and metaphoric analogies. In fact, it would be impossible to do the work of scientists or artists without these symbolic metaphors. It is through the ability to conjure imaginative abstractions that we can explain things that are not readily perceivable.
Clint Brown is Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University where his primary focus and passion was teaching drawing. He is an artist who has consistently used the human figure as a means of commenting on the human condition. His work has encompassed painting, drawing, printmaking, bronze and resin casting, and large scale public sculpture. He is the author of two books on art, Drawing from Life and Artist to Artist.