Roger Brown, HYPERFRAME : Kavi Gupta | 835 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL
Kavi Gupta presents Roger Brown: Hyperframe, an exhibition bringing together an unprecedented selection of multi-frame paintings by one of America’s greatest Imagists.
A painting does not have to tell a story. It does not have to create a world. It is an image-object; it only has to speak for itself.
Yet, consider the multi-frame problem—a single painting compartmentalized into sections. In the multi-frame paradigm, each frame stands alone, yet also supports a sequence. When one image follows another, meaning is generated in the mind even when the images resist. The frames restrict the images at the same time as they invite them. It takes a confident and skilled artist to conjure myths and legends out of the vacant plazas of this enigmatic structure.
Raised on comic books and films when those mediums first dominated the storytelling landscape, Roger Brown (1941–1997) considered the multi-frame image essential to the American visual vernacular. Throughout his career, Brown returned often to the multi-frame structure, demonstrating how both the mightiest depths and pettiest shallows of our national drama could be revealed within its format, especially with the careful addition of text.
Roger Brown: Hyperframe is the first exhibition ever to focus precisely on this unique aspect of Brown’s practice. Bringing together ten large, multi-frame paintings, as well as works on paper and Brown’s personal sketchbooks, it offers a unique glimpse into Brown’s shrewd wit, as well as his masterful grasp of what author and theorist Thierry Groensteen describes as spatio-topical networks—defined story spaces in which localized conversations unfold. Groensteen coined the term “hyperframe” to describe a container for spatio-topical networks. The canvas of a multi-frame painting is a hyperframe, and the gallery, perhaps, an extended hyperframe—a container for containers. Ultimately, Brown’s multi-frame oeuvre suggests the entire modern world is a network of hyperframes, extending from the multitude of box-like windows, shining like yellow eyes, on the homes, cars, factories, and skyscrapers of his paintings, to our offices and bedrooms, our social media feeds and browser windows.
We perceive in these extraordinary multi-frame paintings Brown’s insistence that there is always a bigger story to tell. Kavi Gupta is proud to introduce audiences to this underappreciated aspect of Brown’s work.
Roger BrownIllusion, 1985Oil on canvas72 x 60 in
182.9 x 152.4 cm
Roger Brown57th Street (After Sunset Blvd.), 1988OIl on canvas27 x 55 x 2 in
68.6 x 139.7 x 5.1 cm
Roger BrownKissin’ Cousins, 1990Oil on canvas72 x 72 x 2
Roger BrownLa Cage Aux Folles (Only The Names Are Changed to Protect the Innocent), 1986Oil on canvas72 x 48 x 2 in
182.9 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm
Roger BrownPast and Future Art, 1989Oil on canvas48 x 72 in
121.9 x 182.9 cm
Roger BrownPediment, 1985Oil on canvas32 x 72 in
81.3 x 182.9 cm
Roger BrownThe Triumph of Punchinello, 1987Oil on canvas48 x 72 x 2 in
121.9 x 182.9 x 5.1 cm
Roger BrownVirtual Still Life #23: Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 1996Oil on canvas and mixed media19 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 13 in Each
49.5 x 39.4 x 33 cm Each