“For more than 25 years, Cecily Brown has transfixed viewers with sumptuous color, bravura brushwork and complex narratives that relate to some of Western art history’s age-old themes.”
- Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“I’m figuring something out, by copying a work. You internalize it and get to know it so well. It’s more of a conversation or a way of having a dialogue. And, of course, I’m going to take things from everyone […] and use it. I need to respond to the art I look at. So, in a way my paintings are my reply. To go back to painting being a question, and art being a question, I want to talk back.”
- Cecily Brown
Cecily Brown's suite of 5 new etchings are in dialogue with The Five Senses, a collaborative series of allegorical paintings made in the early 1600s by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, and now held in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid. Throughout her career, Brown has used the work of old masters as a jumping off point to explore contemporary ideas of sexuality, desire, death and excess. These new etchings feature the figures of Venus and Cupid exploring sight through numerous Roman busts and paintings; hearing by playing the lyre; smell through the fragrance of lilies, roses, hollyhocks and tulips; and touch through physical contact. In the fifth etching, Venus and Cupid are replaced by a mortal seated before an abundance of food and being poured a large goblet of wine, alluding to human weakness in the face of gluttony.