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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Gavin Brown, Artist? Dealer’s First Solo Show in Over a Decade Comes to Milwaukee

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Gavin Brown has a secret: He’s an artist. The London-born, New York-based gallerist, who represents international art stars like Alex Katz, Elizabeth Peyton, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, is preparing for his first solo show in over a decade at The Green Gallery in Milwaukee. The gallery’s director, John Riepenhoff, confirmed the news to ARTINFO, and said the show would likely take place late this year or in early 2014. (Thanks to Pedro Vélez for tipping us off on Twitter.)

“Gavin has been friends with The Green Gallery for a while,” Riepenhoff told us in an e-mail. Brown’s eponymous gallery has participated in every Mikwaukee International, an infrequent art fair co-organized by Green Gallery’s founders, as well as the Dark Fair, a nomadic in-the-dark art event also co-organized by The Green Gallery.

A cursory Google search offers little insight into Brown’s own artwork (though there is an Australian artist named Gavin Brown whose work has been described as what might happen if Paul Gauguin and Frida Khalo had a lovechild — we’re going to assume that’s not him). The dealer originally came to New York with the hope of making it big as an artist and attended the Whitney Museum’s prestigious independent study program before turning to art dealing.

“I couldn’t ever quite suspend disbelief,” he told New York Magazine of his “proto-conceptual” art. “I looked at these things, and they felt empty to me. I made a practical decision. I wasn’t selling any art, so I had to make money.” Maybe Brown’s fortunes are turning.

Julia Halperin

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  1. by picassosurfboard

    A solo exhibition of Gavin Brown’s work was presented at David Zwirner Gallery, when it was located on Greene Street, SoHo, in or around 1995. The works looked quite good: altered newspaper pages, mounted directly onto the wall.

  2. by Terry R Myers

    Gavin’s show with David was in December 1994, his “first one-man show in the U.S.” Also Eileen and Michael Cohen bought his work before then, when he was still working for Lisa Spellman.

  3. by Jeremy Dickinson

    There is an artwork by Gavin painted on the brickwork under a railway bridge in Camberwell, South London, circa 1987, which is still there, although a little worn and prone to bill posters part covering it.

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