Christopher Brown paints scenes drawn from memory. His large canvases are populated with figures, objects and vistas that the artist continually reuses. Many of the images emanate from photographs that Brown has taken over the years; many reside only in the artist’s own recollection. Although Brown is primarily a figurative artist, he is not a realist. Many of his paintings involve formal examinations of scale and depth. Space in Brown’s canvases is often irrational, an almost dream-like landscape where the boundaries between representation and abstraction are tested.
Brown studied painting at the University of California, Davis, where the faculty included Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley, Roy de Forest, and Robert Arneson. His interests touched upon the American and British Pop Art movements, the role of media in visual culture, and the representation of history. He served as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley from 1981-1994, where he was the chair of the art department from 1990-1994. He is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in Painting/Drawing.
Brown has received National Endowment for the Arts grants in both painting and art criticism as well as awards from the American Academy and Institute of Art and Letters, and the Equitable and Rockefeller Foundations. His works are in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; De Young Museum, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth. Brown currently lives and works in Berkeley, California.