Abstracts in the Way of Being  is an exhibition of 20 mixed media paintings by San Francisco artist Todd Thomas Brown.



The present exhibition of works were created over the last two years and represent the unique position I find myself in at this point in my artistic career as an interdisciplinary artist with a painting practice that parallels my interdisciplinary work. Presently, I am in the process of developing/producing a performative work for stage in which I am engaging multiple lines of inquiry spanning from topics of human biology, ancestry, and an indentity of multiple selves, interwoven through the complex narratives of European colonial conquest. These lines of inquiry are juxtaposed against reflections on “spontaneous presence” - the qualitative experience that occurs when we find ourselves in an unintended, naturally relaxed and cognizant, frame of mind – the space where conceptual thinking dissolves. Where my performance work centers around this explicit and focused intention, in terms of content, my painting practice, conversely, is concerned with the surrender of intention. It is an arduous endeavor to simply be spontaneously myself, at ease, relaxed, in a process of aesthetic expression working with color, line, form, and texture. The paintings in this exhibition represent an array of attempts to surrender into this relaxed expression. This approach, of course, is nothing new. But neither is sex, love, coffee, the challenges of family, the journey of self-discovery, etc. Newness is the every day expression of life – and yet the oldest form of continual expression we know. The new is old, and the old is made new. These works are simply moments in the stream – nothing more, nothing less.

~ Todd Thomas Brown, January 2014. 

TTBrown Head Shot 2013.jpg

As a visual artist, Todd Thomas Brown has 25 years combined experience in oil painting and mixed media, with 11 years professional teaching experience. Brown has been awarded an artist residencies with San Francisco’s de Young Museum (2009) and Residencia el Otro Lado (Chiapas, MX. 2009/10) and was selected as one of the first four artists for the de Young Museum’s recent year-long Artist Fellowship Program (20011/12), funded by the James Irvine Foundation. In 2009, Brown was also commissioned by the de Young’s Department of Public Programs for the creation of his mural-scale painting “Invisible Passage,” which was completed during his Fellowship in 2012. He currently sits on the de Young’s Community Engagement Artist Council, and continues to exhibit work both nationally and internationally, and was most recently featured in ArtMarket Budapest 2013. In earlier years, Brown studied color with Frank Hewitt at the University of Vermont and oil painting with Andrew Taverelli at Boston College, and apprenticed with painter Douglass Acosta. In addition to his work in visual arts, Brown has been awarded grants in disciplines of music and theater, from the San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He is the Founder of the Red Poppy Art House of San Francisco (2003) and the MAPP: Mission Arts & Performance Project (2003). His most recent project, Teobi’s Dreaming, will be premiered at the Red Poppy Art House on March 19th, 20th, and 21st,, 2014.