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Adventureland and more art by Alex Brown

Adventureland, 2004
15 x 9 cm (h x w)
etching on paper
not for sale
[Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2004.10]

(Commissioned Print & Gift Print, 2004)

Born in Des Moines, Alex Brown studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where he received his Masters of Fine Art in 1991. Brown had solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. He was also a musician. His career was cut short by his untimely death in 2019. Brown created his paintings by transforming and refracting photo-based image he sourced from postcards and the mass media. As Jeff Fleming wrote, “Alex Brown’s paintings are simultaneously abstract and representational. At first sight, many appear to be multicolored, formal abstractions, but with extended viewing recognizable images begin to emerge…Although Brown's work does contain a touch of the romantic, its calculated approach, its use of mechanical or photographic imagery, and its relatively cool emotional quality connect it firmly to the art of our time."

When Print Club invited Brown to create the Commissioned Print, he replied that had not made prints since attending art school. Print Club offered to facilitate the process. Brown’s line etching, Adventureland, is based on an old picture postcard of the Adventureland amusement park located east of Des Moines. The photograph shows a person in a lion costume posing with visitors. Working on a hardground-coated plate, Brown redrew and transformed the photograph. The dense labyrinth of lines practically obliterates the source image. Print Club member Robert Schulte etched the copper plate in the acid room of the Des Moines Art Center’s printmaking studio. Master printer Roberto Mazzetto at the Stamperia del Tintoretto in Venice printed the edition of 60.



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Dark Image, 1960
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Lo Mismo (The Same), 1810-1814
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