Melissa Brown

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Posted: 09/30/11
Duration: 8:30
Producer: Max Fierst
Views: 21499

A painter, a maker of art objects in traditional studio solitude, Melissa Brown has a countervailing aspect to her work: it is an impulse behind several projects over the last few years, including the new "Dotto Lotto."

The impulse is to go outside and beyond the studio, and her own imagination, and connect to the flux of life and the activity and imagination of others, to weave an art experience out of drawing and postcards and systems of communication, distribution, and social interaction.

In "Dotto Lotto," Melissa's casually distributed postcards, with their connnect-the-dots template and draw-and-return-to-sender invitation, come back to her, some of them, in a random harvest of the idiosyncratic and the typical, the ho-hum and the eye-popping. The drawings made by Melissa's accidental contributors are all very much one-of-a-kind except they're also readily categorizable, sortable into families - geometric, gestural, minimal, allover, innee, outtee, frenzied, reasoned, pizza, non-pizza.

Melissa processes and organizes the traces of this virtual global connectedness in a way that resonates with a whole lineage of Cagean, Fluxus, Happening, and now "relational," outside-the-studio-gallery nexus, art-meets-life gambits. One very distinctive thing about "Dotto Lotto" is its fusion of randomness and impersonality with the personal and individual touch of each drawing.

In contrast to, say, the participatory projects of Spencer Tunick or Santiago Sierra, drawing remains a touchstone with painter Melissa Brown, a basic way to connect, relate, and represent. Acting by turns the producer and project manager, collagist, curator, video and installation maker, Melissa also assembles a selection of creative roles in the course of assembling postcards. A kind of meta-drawer, Brown orchestrates a culmination of hundreds of postcard drawings into two works: an animated video, and an allover collage on the walls of the project room at the Winkleman Gallery, New York, in the fall (Sept.) of 2011.

This is the first video for NewArtTV by new contributing producer Max Fierst.

RK

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