Coady Brown: Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars

18 September - 30 October 2021

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Only In The Darkness Can You See The Stars, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Philadelphia-based Coady Brown. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

  • Installation of Coady Brown's paintings on white wall
  • Coady Brown
    Imagine It Was Us, 2021
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 30 in
  • Brown’s paintings examine how groups, couples, and solitary figures navigate self-presentation in private and public life. For this new series,...
    Coady Brown
    Dark Star, 2021
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 30 in

    Brown’s paintings examine how groups, couples, and solitary figures navigate self-presentation in private and public life. For this new series, ‚Ā†Brown utilizes the dark nightlife of a disco as a thematic parameter to conjure the experience of gathering in a space designated for catharsis and ecstatic exaltation. Bodies are often compressed into tightly framed, intimate spaces that expose the vulnerabilities and the delicate nature of our interpersonal connections and relationships. Through attention to lighting, vibrant clothing, and high-contrast moments between the body and the background, Brown orchestrates psychologically charged environments that pulse with a sense of mystery and wonder.

  • Installation view of Coady Brown's oil painting Imagine It Was Us

    Clothing, for Brown, is a distinct marker and extension of one’s psyche. She often depicts vibrant and chaotic patterns that both camouflage her subjects and allow them to be unabashedly present and visible. The body is rendered with exaggeration, often androgynous, and assertively occupying most of the picture plane. Brown emphasizes gender fluidity and femininity as sources of both strength and extreme vulnerability. 

    • Coady Brown Sequence, 2021 Oil on canvas 30 x 24 in
      Coady Brown
      Sequence, 2021
      Oil on canvas
      30 x 24 in
    • Coady Brown Bouquet #2 (studio image), 2021 Oil on canvas 24 x 20 in
      Coady Brown
      Bouquet #2 (studio image), 2021
      Oil on canvas
      24 x 20 in
    • Coady Brown Disco Sister (studio image), 2021 Oil on canvas 24 x 20 in
      Coady Brown
      Disco Sister (studio image), 2021
      Oil on canvas
      24 x 20 in
  • Her signature bouquet painting, an homage to the present moment that marks each new grouping of work, is included alongside...
    Coady Brown
    Bouquet #1 , 2021
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 20 in

    Her signature bouquet painting, an homage to the present moment that marks each new grouping of work, is included alongside the figurative paintings. The work symbolizes the cycle of life and death, celebration and mourning and love—both romantic and platonic. Throughout the show, flowers, faces, and geometric patterns become distinct markers of this moment in time.

  • Giving as much attention to the accessories of the scene as she does the figure, Brown conjures a precise instant...
    Coady Brown
    More Than That, 2021
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 30 in

    Giving as much attention to the accessories of the scene as she does the figure, Brown conjures a precise instant within a specific world. Gestural brushstrokes and saturated colors restage the sensory experience of being immersed in the disco while slowing the stimulating scene to a pause. In carefully crafting these particular junctures, she lingers not only on the figure in space but also their interiority. 

  • Portrait of Coady Brown who is has long brown hair to the side, cat-eyed glasses, and is wearing a white shirt.

    Coady Brown (b. 1990) is a painter from Baltimore, MD. She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 2012 and her MFA from Yale University in 2016. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally with Stems Gallery, Ixelles, Belgium; 1969 Gallery, New York, NY; Carl Kostyál, London; Richard Heller, Santa Monica; Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles; and Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY; among others. She is the recipient of several fellowships and residencies including The Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Fountainhead, Miami, FL; Vermont Studio Center; and the Yale/Norfolk School of Art. Her work has been written about in The New York TimesThe Village Voice, and New American Painting. Brown’s works are in the permanent collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and the Columbus Museum of Art.