Joan Brown, ‘After the Alcatraz Swim #2’, 1975, James Harris Gallery

About Joan Brown

Considered part of the second generation of the Bay Area Figurative movement, influential artist Joan Brown obsessively painted everyday imagery from her own life: domestic scenes, swimming excursions in the San Francisco bay, or outings to the opera with her husband. In a predominantly flat, decorative style, Brown painted figures and animals in fanciful scenarios; enamored with ancient Egyptian art and mythology, she would often paint silhouettes and human-animal hybrids such as the sphinx. Though she denied having any explicit feminist agenda, her subject matter aligned closely with the psychological imperatives of feminist art; her images displayed the artist’s introspective spiritual life. Elmer Bischoff was a mentor and teacher.

American, 1938-1990, San Francisco, California, based in San Francisco, California