Cecily Brown

The Blenheim Art Foundation is staging a major new exhibition by the renowned contemporary British painter Cecily Brown in September.

Originally due to have taken place back in April, the ‘Cecily Brown Art Exhibition’ features all new work created by the New York-based artist, and all in direct response to Blenheim Palace.

Considered one of the foremost painters of her generation, Brown lives and works in New York City. Her large-scale, sensual, semi-abstract artworks have cemented her as one of the most important painters of her generation. 

“The invitation to exhibit at Blenheim Palace seemed to me an invitation to look at Britain now” Cecily Brown

This will be Cecily’s first major UK show in 15 years and the first British painter in the impressive Blenheim Art Foundation programme.

Inspired by the history of painting, Cecily Brown often reworks motifs and images from variety of painters such as Francisco de Goya, Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon and Joan Mitchell, as well as Old Masters like Rubens and Poussin.

In 2018 ‘Suddenly Last Summer’, which she painted in 1999, sold for $6.8m at Sotheby’s in New York.

Hunt After Frans Snyders by Cecily Brown (1800×1581)

“The invitation to exhibit at Blenheim Palace seemed to me an invitation to look at Britain now. It was thrilling for me to make work with England as its subject,” said Cecily.

“My work has always dealt with conflict and turbulence, both in content and in a physical way. I thought about an idealised vision of England and the contradiction between that and the reality of a nation in turmoil,” she added.

Exhibited amongst the Palace’s extensive collection of artefacts, it will provide a fascinating counterpoint to the centuries of rich British artistic tradition and imagery on display.

Brown’s new series will visually reference masterpieces by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Anthony Van Dyck on display within the Palace, as well as family heraldry, armorial banners and the martial scenes of the Blenheim Tapestries that line the State Rooms. 

Michael Frahm, Director of Blenheim Art Foundation, said: “Cecily’s exhibition continues to push the boundaries of how contemporary art can be shown at a heritage site and will be a further new experience for our visitors.

“This will be Cecily’s first major UK show in 15 years and we are proud to showcase her brilliant work to British audiences,” he added.

Edward Spencer-Churchill, Founder of Blenheim Art Foundation, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Cecily Brown to Blenheim. As the first British painter in our programme, her phenomenal new body of work brings a fresh and exciting perspective on the rich tradition of painting at the Palace.”

Cecily Brown was born in London and studied at the Slade School of Art before moving to New York in 1994. She has been credited as a central figure in the resurgence of painting at the turn of the millennium. Her work is included in the public collections of The British Museum, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MFA, Boston; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Blenheim Art Foundation was launched in 2014 as a programme of contemporary art at Blenheim Palace. Offering visitors, a unique opportunity to experience contemporary art in the historic setting of the Palace and its celebrated grounds, the not-for-profit foundation aims to bring together one of Britain’s most famous landmarks with the work of the most innovative contemporary artists working today. 

Previous exhibitions include Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace (2014), Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance (2015), Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim Palace (2016), SOFTER: Jenny Holzer at Blenheim Palace (2017) (winner of Global Fine Art Award for ‘Best Public Exhibition’), Yves Klein at Blenheim Palace (2018) and Victory is Not an Option: Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace (2019).

Cecily Brown Art Exhibition, September 17 – January 3. For more details and tickets go to http://Cecily Brown Art Exhibition 17th September 2020 – 3rd January 2021