Liverpool artwork of the week 2009-8. The Loves of Shepherds (after ‘Doublestar’ by Tony Roberts) 2000 by Glenn Brown at Tate Liverpool 20 February – 10 May 2009
This mid-career retrospective of British painter Glenn Brown brings together the largest selection of his work to date including several new paintings. One of the most important artists of his generation, Brown works directly from reproductions of images from art history and popular culture, revealing how often we experience art at second-hand through photographs.
Fascinated by how reproductions of paintings distort the qualities of their originals – size, colour, surface texture and brushwork – he uses them as starting blocks for works that transform the familiar into the alien. Working from books or projecting reproductions onto a blank canvas, Brown wildly embellishes his source material. Naturalistic colour becomes putrid or kitsch, figures are elongated or enlarged into the grotesque, and heavy impasto, although painstakingly copied, is rendered entirely flat.