John Held, Jr. reviews works by Joan Brown recently on view at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco.
Held writes: "Brown’s is the type of work that goes in and out of style based on the concerns of the era. Acknowledged as a second-generation Bay Area Figurationist, having pushed past abstract expressionism, secures her reputation on one level. Her portraits are as plentiful and revealing as those by Frida Kahlo. The later works are more perplexing but equally rich in layering of thought... One era may be captivated by Brown’s earlier impasto paintings. Another time and another place, the viewer may be drawn to the more symbolic works. Reputation in art is a crapshoot—as much to do with audience reception as with the artist. Joan Brown rolled many a dice, and we are only now beginning to learn what numbers are coming up."