Leonard Brown Biography

Leonard Brown (b. 1949) was born and trained in Brisbane and currently lives and works in Ipswich.  He is best known for his oil paintings in which gravity plays an important role in their realisation. His expertise in contrasting the colour of his figures and grounds play heavily on the mood of the work, which can vary from gentle and serene to dizzyingly optical.  He has been exhibiting such works with Charles Nodrum for a decade and in 2010 he won the prestigious Blake Prize with If You Put Your Ear Close You'll Hear it Breathing.

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Less known, but carried out with equal vigour, are his Russian icon paintings created with traditional mediums; a practice that he has maintained for 35 years. 

He has held several significant exhibitions over the years culminating in Union with Reality: The Art of Leonard Brown, a 30 year survey of his work at QUT Art Museum in Brisbane in late 2011 where his icons and minimalist abstract paintings were shown side by side.  Emma Cane explores the link between Brown’s spirituality and his craft in her catalogue essay for Union with Reality:

“Leonard Brown’s subject is spirituality, whatever that fraught expression may mean. In both his icons and his 'personal poetry', as he calls his abstract painting, there is a deep underlying concern with the fundamental questions and paradoxes that lie at the heart of human life and a drive towards a passionate engagement with reality. A reality that is both vital and mysterious”

Text courtesy Charles Nodrum Gallery.

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