ART REVIEW ‘3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980’ Review: A Celebration of the Weird (excerpt) — Peter Plagens

The Wall Street Journal, 09.19.2018

Better still is Brown’s 1974 “Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama (Mammy’s Door).” It’s an oil painting, with one of Brown’s patented simplified landscapes of rolling hills and silhouetted trees, on a format that’s reductively the reversed shape of that Southern state. The beauty part is that if seen head-on the bottom edge would be straight across, but from slightly above—the average viewer’s standing perspective—a horizontal protrusion of a lake with a boat on it constitutes that little tag where Mobile meets the Gulf of Mexico. If that isn’t enough cleverness—and Imagist cleverness is a good thing—a mirror on the floor reveals that the bottom side of the work depicts a guitar (the lake being half the body and the rest of the underside the neck).