James Brooks

Black and White + Color

February 21 – March 29, 2008

Reception: February 21, 5 - 7 PM

Greenberg Van Doren Gallery is pleased to present a focused thematic exhibition of paintings by the late American abstract expressionist James Brooks (1906 – 1992). In this selected survey of specific works, Brooks pared his otherwise varied chromatic sensibility to an exclusive use of black and white and a single color. “James Brooks: Black and White + Color” is on view from February 21-March 29, 2008 accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalogue.

This tightly edited exhibition will feature twelve canvases that span Brooks’ entire mature career from the mid-1950s through the early 80s. The works in the show feature the artist’s signature compositions composed of loosely brushed shapes and forms that become increasingly simplified and lyrical with time. By limiting this selection to paintings that employ black and white – and grays – in tandem with a third color, one is able to gauge the artist’s natural graphic sensibility. Additionally, it is clear that drawing was an intuitive and integral part of his vocabulary. Brooks use of coarse charcoal and crayon in the early works such as “Irridon” (1965-68) becomes transformed to dripped and stained lines in the later paintings like “Fonteel” (1974). While Brooks was known for his gift as a colorist, this exhibition highlights his ability to both enact and represent the process of painting even when limited to the interplay of basic black, white and a single hue.