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Van Doren Waxter

Familiar World 1942 – 1982

  • James Brooks

Press for Familiar World 1942 – 1982

Current Exhibitions at Van Doren Waxter


A Tower in the Night Forest

  • Katsura Funakoshi,
  • Opens: Nov. 14, 2019
  • Closes: Jan. 17, 2020
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

In Color: Paintings & Drawings 1997-2007

  • Tom Fairs,
  • Opens: Sep. 10, 2019
  • Closes: Nov. 02, 2019
  • Reception: Sep. 10, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

This Marram

  • TM Davy,
  • Opens: Sep. 10, 2019
  • Closes: Nov. 02, 2019
  • Reception: Sep. 10, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Joshua Nathanson and Erin Jane Nelson

  • Joshua Nathanson,
  • Erin Jane Nelson,
  • Opens: May. 30, 2019
  • Closes: Jul. 12, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Ocean Park Works on Paper 1978 - 1991

  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Opens: May. 01, 2019
  • Closes: Jun. 28, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Paintings & Works on Paper

  • Moira Dryer,
  • Opens: Apr. 04, 2019
  • Closes: May. 24, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Painting I Prefer to Know, Works on Canvas from 1950-1958

  • James Brooks
  • Opens: Mar. 13, 2019
  • Closes: Apr. 27, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Names will never hurt me

  • Hilary Berseth,
  • Opens: Feb. 21, 2019
  • Closes: Mar. 30, 2019
  • Reception: Feb. 21, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

2030

  • Brian Rochefort,
  • Opens: Jan. 09, 2019
  • Closes: Feb. 16, 2019
  • Reception: Jan. 09, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Starry Sky

  • Douglas Melini,
  • Opens: Nov. 13, 2018
  • Closes: Jan. 12, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

.....READ ALL ABOUT

  • Gareth Nyandoro,
  • Opens: Nov. 08, 2018
  • Closes: Dec. 21, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Structures and Landscapes, 1950-1968

  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Opens: Nov. 01, 2018
  • Closes: Dec. 22, 2018
  • Reception: Nov. 01, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Rockers and Pendulums, 1969-1977

  • Harvey Quaytman,
  • Opens: Oct. 04, 2018
  • Closes: Nov. 03, 2018
  • Reception: Oct. 10, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Jeronimo Elespe

  • Jeronimo Elespe,
  • Opens: Sep. 13, 2018
  • Closes: Oct. 27, 2018
  • Reception: Sep. 13, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Aiko Hachisuka and John Williams

  • Aiko Hachisuka,
  • John Williams,
  • Opens: Aug. 29, 2018
  • Closes: Sep. 29, 2018
  • Reception: Sep. 05, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Gaze

  • Hilary Berseth,
  • Marsha Cottrell,
  • TM Davy,
  • Jeronimo Elespe,
  • Tom Fairs,
  • Judy Fiskin,
  • Joe Goode,
  • Volker Hüller,
  • Ellsworth Kelly,
  • Cameron Martin,
  • Douglas Melini,
  • Valeska Soares,
  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Kevin Zucker,
  • Opens: Aug. 01, 2018
  • Closes: Aug. 30, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Rolling Orbit: Prints from the 1970s

  • Alan Shields,
  • Opens: May. 17, 2018
  • Closes: Jul. 27, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Figureheads [EXTENDED]

  • Sarah Peters,
  • Opens: Apr. 27, 2018
  • Closes: Jun. 16, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Constructions

  • John McLaughlin,
  • Opens: Mar. 28, 2018
  • Closes: May. 11, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Screen Life

  • Marsha Cottrell,
  • Opens: Mar. 08, 2018
  • Closes: Apr. 21, 2018
  • Reception: Mar. 08, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Tonics

  • Volker Hüller,
  • Opens: Jan. 24, 2018
  • Closes: Mar. 23, 2018
  • Reception: Jan. 24, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Alan Shields Project

  • Lisa Alvarado,
  • Cheryl Donegan,
  • Aiko Hachisuka,
  • Channing Hansen,
  • Naotaka Hiro,
  • Alan Shields,
  • Martha Tuttle,
  • B. Wurtz,
  • Opens: Jan. 05, 2018
  • Closes: Feb. 24, 2018
  • Reception: Jan. 05, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Works on Paper 1955-1967

  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Opens: Nov. 08, 2017
  • Closes: Jan. 20, 2018
  • Reception: Nov. 08, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Hot Spots

  • Brian Rochefort,
  • Opens: Nov. 03, 2017
  • Closes: Dec. 23, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Cellophane Grip

  • Evan Nesbit,
  • Opens: Sep. 13, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 28, 2017
  • Reception: Sep. 13, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Annotations, Striations, and Souvenirs

  • Ishmael Randall Weeks,
  • Opens: Sep. 12, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 28, 2017
  • Reception: Sep. 12, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Healdsburg Years, 1988-1993

  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Opens: Nov. 05, 2014
  • Closes: Jan. 16, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Space Sisters - Work from the 1970's

  • Alan Shields,
  • Opens: Sep. 14, 2016
  • Closes: Oct. 28, 2016
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Summer Group Exhibition: Part I

  • Al Held,
  • Alan Shields,
  • Frank Stella,
  • Opens: Jun. 02, 2014
  • Closes: Jul. 18, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Summer Group Exhibition: Part II

  • James Brooks
  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Al Held,
  • Manny Farber,
  • Alan Shields,
  • Opens: Jul. 28, 2014
  • Closes: Aug. 29, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Forgeries

  • Tim Davis,
  • Opens: Sep. 10, 2014
  • Closes: Oct. 31, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

A New Surrealism: Works from the 1930's

  • Joseph Cornell,
  • Opens: Sep. 10, 2014
  • Closes: Oct. 31, 2014
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Emil Nolde and Die Brücke - Master Drawings New York

  • Erich Heckel,
  • Emil Nolde,
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,
  • Max Pechstein,
  • Karl Schmidt-Rottluff,
  • Opens: Jan. 23, 2015
  • Closes: Feb. 20, 2015
  • Reception: Jan. 23, 2015
  • Hours: 4 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Familiar World 1942 – 1982

  • James Brooks
  • Opens: May. 03, 2017
  • Closes: Jun. 23, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Special Presentation

  • Carl D'Alvia,
  • Opens: May. 06, 2015
  • Closes: Aug. 28, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Frankenthaler, Rockburne, & Sterne

  • Helen Frankenthaler,
  • Dorothea Rockburne,
  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Opens: Jul. 08, 2015
  • Closes: Aug. 28, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Special Presentation

  • Eva Lundsager,
  • Opens: Jun. 22, 2015
  • Closes: Jul. 24, 2015
  • Reception: Jun. 23, 2015
  • Hours: 5 - 7pm
  • Admission: free

There's Always Tomorrow

  • Joe Goode,
  • Opens: Feb. 25, 2015
  • Closes: May. 01, 2015
  • Reception: Feb. 25, 2015
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Particular Paradox

  • Al Held,
  • Opens: May. 06, 2015
  • Closes: Jul. 02, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Degree of Tilt

  • Jackie Saccoccio,
  • Opens: Sep. 09, 2015
  • Closes: Oct. 23, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Color(less)

  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Michael Goldberg,
  • Arshile Gorky,
  • Al Held,
  • Donald Judd,
  • Franz Kline,
  • Sol LeWitt,
  • Robert Mangold,
  • Robert Motherwell,
  • Dorothea Rockburne,
  • Mark Tobey,
  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Opens: Oct. 28, 2015
  • Closes: Dec. 23, 2015
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Early Color Abstractions 1949-1955

  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Opens: Jan. 13, 2016
  • Closes: Mar. 05, 2016
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Brushstrokes - India Ink Drawings from 1960

  • Al Held,
  • Opens: May. 12, 2016
  • Closes: Jul. 08, 2016
  • Reception: May. 12, 2016
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Machines 1947 – 1951

  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Opens: Mar. 10, 2016
  • Closes: May. 07, 2016
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Other Night Other Light

  • Eva Lundsager,
  • Opens: Jul. 13, 2016
  • Closes: Aug. 26, 2016
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Hone

  • Harvey Quaytman,
  • Opens: Feb. 22, 2017
  • Closes: Apr. 28, 2017
  • Reception: Feb. 22, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

John McLaughlin

  • Marvelous Void,
  • Opens: Nov. 02, 2016
  • Closes: Jan. 07, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Go Figure

  • James Brooks
  • Joseph Cornell,
  • Richard Diebenkorn,
  • Philip Guston,
  • Ed Paschke,
  • Hedda Sterne,
  • Kristin Baker,
  • Michael Berryhill,
  • Jeronimo Elespe,
  • Volker Hüller,
  • Sarah Peters,
  • Opens: Jan. 11, 2017
  • Closes: Feb. 18, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Reticulations

  • Cameron Martin,
  • Opens: Jun. 28, 2017
  • Closes: Aug. 25, 2017
  • Reception: Jun. 28, 2017
  • Hours: 5 - 7pm
  • Admission: free

When

May 03 - Jun 23, 2017


Where

Van Doren Waxter

  • 23 E 73rd St, New York NY 10021 Map
  • 212.445.0444

About

Van Doren Waxter is pleased to present James Brooks: Familiar World 1942 – 1982, an exhibition of small-scale paintings by the masterful Abstract Expressionist James Brooks. On view from May 3 through June 23, 2017, this historic survey traces the evolution of the artist’s career over a period spanning four decades.

James Brooks (1906–1992) began his career as an artist during the Great Depression, moving to New York City in 1926, where he worked as a muralist under the Works Progress Administration and studied representational painting at the Art Students League. His career as an artist was briefly disrupted when he was drafted to serve in the United States Army as an Art Correspondent in the Middle East in 1942. Brooks’ time in the Middle East directly coincided with the rise of Abstract Expressionism as an established movement in the United States. Upon returning to New York in 1945, Brooks turned away from representational painting toward abstraction, drawing inspiration from his friendships with peers such as Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, and Bradley Walker Tomlin.

During the mid-1940s, Brooks’ work was largely influenced by the synthetic Cubism of Picasso and Braque, which is most apparent in the composition of his early paintings, such as Bad Intentions (c. 1942-43) and Christmas Fantasy (1946). Over time Brooks became increasingly inspired by the Surrealists, in particular their preoccupation with using art as a means of accessing the unconscious. While paintings such as Z (1954) may suggest to the viewer landscapes or other natural forms, Brooks claimed, “It never occurs to me in painting that I am taking either from nature or manufacture; everything pools into one source, I suppose, and is unconsciously drawn on.”[1]

Popularly known for his restrained approach to creating rhythmic, Abstract Expressionist paintings, Brooks’ most inventive practice developed out of a chance discovery, when he accidentally dripped paint onto the reverse of an absorbent Bemis cloth to discover fragmentary forms had seeped through on the front. Finding these stains to be more visually compelling than what was originally painted on the front, Brooks would employ this method throughout the his career, applying paint onto the reverse of absorbent cloth and squeeging the paint with cardboard.

Utilizing similar working methods to those of his contemporaries—such as the spontaneous drip paintings of Pollock—Brooks adapted his process through a range of more mannered techniques. Rather than dripping paint directly onto an entire canvas in the manner of Pollock, Brooks would sparingly drip paint onto only a small region of the canvas, at times vertically rotating the canvas to force drips in different directions. In works such as Aamo (1981), he used brush strokes to create the illusion of drips so convincingly that it is difficult to distinguish between the real drip and the artificial. Navigating these two extremes––the semblance of instantaneous gesture on one hand and a controlled mediation of materials on the other––Brooks’ work is entirely distinct from that of the other Abstract Expressionists.

James Brooks: Familiar World 1942 – 1982 presents a unique view into the history of Abstract Expressionism through the vantage point of this crucial figure.


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