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Robert Koch Gallery


San Francisco

Robert Koch Gallery San Francisco, 49 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94108 Tel: 415. 421-0122 |

 Hugh Brown: Allegedly September 9 – October 30, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - Robert Koch Gallery showcases Hugh Brown: Allegedly, an exhibition of appropriated contemporary artwork. Brown’s artistic obsession: the chainsaw in American popular culture, inserts chainsaw imagery into a variety of iconic images by well-known artists, paying stylistic homage while encouraging viewers to reconsider the original image.

Brown follows in the steps of the Dadaists and Pop Artists as he borrows from aspects of past visual culture for experimentation and invention introducing the chainsaw into works by Irving Penn, Diane Arbus, and Walker Evans.

In a famous photograph of a child clutching a hand grenade by Arbus, Brown replaces the grenade with a chainsaw, and he adds a chainsaw to his meticulously re-created interior of Walker Evan’s general store. For Vista Theater appearing in the movie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,  Brown rented Los Angeles’s Vista Theater and used a large format camera and an extremely long exposure to capture the entire Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 film on a single print, resulting in an image almost exactly like the Hiroshi Sugimoto image it references.

Each  new work recontextualizes whatever it borrows, while the original visual reference remains accessible. Brown diligently researches the processes and media of all the artists he appropriates, so each image is immediately identifiable as an image of an iconic contemporary artist. By inserting the chainsaw, the viewer is encouraged to view these familiar images anew.

Hugh Brown has worked as an artist for 35 years, specializing in photography, printmaking and assemblage. He served as Creative Director for Rhino Records, a renowned archival and reissue label, and his groundbreaking designs in packaging and album design have garnered eleven Grammy nominations and three wins. Brown has had several solo shows and has exhibited in many group shows, including two at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Past exhibits have included Elliott Erwitt: New York