I Called The Zoo But The Lion Was Busy By Chickie Brown

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I Called The Zoo But The Lion Was Busy By Chickie Brown
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I Called The Zoo But The Lion Was Busy By Chickie Brown says
Exhibition dates: January 27 – March 11, 2017
Opening reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, January 27, 2017
Front Gallery I Artist/Curator talk: 7:00 PM

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present 'I called the zoo but the lion was busy,' a series of quirky, casual paintings by 94 year old Houston artist Chickie Brown, organized by Francesca Fuchs, Head of Painting at the Glassell School of Art. “If you did not know a 94 year old had made these paintings you would think they were by a hip young artist,” says Fuchs. Usually based on song lyrics, many of Brown’s paintings are narratives that explore relationships between men and women, and between the painted image and the written word. The paintings seem to come straight out of her stream of consciousness with astonishing directness and truth. Brown began painting at 60. She says: “My painting made me feel like I mattered.”


Chickie Brown was born in Pittsburgh in 1922. At age 18 she eloped with Jack Brown, eventually moving to Houston, and raising three children. She recalls going to the Carnegie Museum of Art when she was young and falling in love with the paintings. Brown didn’t start making paintings herself until her 60’s. She took art classes at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she started out by painting more traditional portraits and figures from life. In the last 15 years, her paintings have become more idiosyncratic telling the stories from her youth, imagination and dreams. Brown used a summerhouse in her yard as a studio for years but, since losing mobility, moved into the back room of her small Bellaire home to paint. Art lessons at Glassell are still very important to Brown and her caretaker helps get her to class. She paints almost every day and loves painting people the most.


Francesca Fuchs was born in London and grew up in Münster, Germany. She completed her BFA at London’s Wimbledon School of Art (1993) and did her postgraduate work at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany (1995). Fuchs came to Houston in 1996 for a two year residency with the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has been teaching at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, since 1997 and is currently Department Head of Painting. Fuchs’ work has been shown in national and international venues including The ICA, London; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and The Fort Worth Modern Art Museum. Fuchs is the recipient of two Artadia Awards and Individual Artist Grants from the City of Houston. She occasionally curates shows, including Fish & Chips, New British Art, at DiverseWorks and Morris Chackas for Optical Project.
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By: Art League Houston

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