Harper’s is pleased to announce Twenty Sixteen, an exhibition of new work by artist William Eric Brown. Featuring a selection of 21 photographs and two unique handmade books, this exhibition highlights Brown’s exploration in creating dreamlike imagery through the layering of digital and analog media. Twenty Sixteen opens with a reception attended by the artist on Thursday, December 8, and will be on view at Harper’s Apartment on the Upper East Side through January 19, 2017.
As evident in Brown’s stratified compositions, his final prints are the result of an elaborate process combining film and digital photography with gestural painting. Beginning with a trove of personalized photographs shot on film, Brown selectively scans images of lush forests, serene domestic interiors, barren airports, and grimy urban landscapes into digital files. The photographs rarely conform to conventional standards: Brown has embraced the aesthetic of over and underexposed images, and the pixelation caused by low-resolution files. After the snapshots are printed with an inkjet or light jet printer, he swiftly coats swaths of desaturated acrylic pigment onto the prints themselves, reminiscent of William Klein's paintings over contact sheets. In other cases, Brown applies spray paint to the surface of the paper using stencils. The pictures then pass through an inkjet printer a second time, where a different photograph is layered over his painterly interventions. The end product appears as if it were a visual representation of life's inner memories, where faded sceneries become familiar and estranged, overlap and collide, disappear and reemerge. Twenty Sixteen—an exhibition title that is itself a reference to the present—materializes the ambivalent “timeless” aspect of the way we remember our past experiences, much like the way an afterimage lingers in the eye once it turns away.
William Eric Brown (b. 1969, Buenos Aires, Argentina) lives and works in New York City. Brown received a BFA from the University of Southern Maine in 1992 and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1996. Most recently, Brown's work was exhibited at Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, New York (2016); 601 Artspace, New York (2016); Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY (2012); and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY (2007). Brown's work is included in the collection of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, as well as numerous private collections.