Joe Brainard
American, 1942-1994
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
The Mid Century Modern Aesthetic,
Alpha 137 Gallery
Selected Works,
Tibor de Nagy
Joe Brainard: Painting the Way I Wish I Could Talk,
Tibor de Nagy

Known as a prolific artist and writer, Joe Brainard produced an oeuvre that included collages, painted male nudes, and assembled miniatures, all rooted in popular culture and characterized by a classical attention to light. Drawing from a broad range of motifs—night skies, butterflies, eyes, Madonnas, and flowers, to name but a few—his work shows the influence of Pop art and artists Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Cornell. From 1963-78 he created over 100 works appropriating the classic comic book character Nancy, casting her in scenes ranging from sentimental, to bitingly humorous, to irreverent and playful. “The informality of his art is generated by generous acts of looking that connect us anew to a spread of traditions from Kurt Schwitters to painterly realism to Puerto Rican storefront art,” critic Rachel Youens once wrote.