Chapel Hill artist Mark Brown, a much celebrated, widely collected, very private painter, lives deep in the woods… In the studio behind his house, he paints large, meditative, deeply saturated abstract works, many on distinct lozenge-shaped canvases and panels of birch… Curators and critics have compared his work to Mark Rothko and Frank Stella… Brown’s work reflects a distinct interiority, and aims to inspire a similar contemplativeness in its viewer…
-Liza Roberts, Art of the State, University of North Carolina Press (2022)
…Asymmetry and irregularity slow perception, encourage contemplation and reward close attention… Tantric painting, based on simple abstract shapes, particularly resonates: painted on found paper, along with incidental marks, these anonymous images provide subjects for meditation and generate altered states. Open to the unknown, Brown’s paintings offer similar unspoken epiphanies.
-Hearne Pardee, Unspoken Epiphanies catalog essay, Broadstone Books (2020)
Artist Mark Brown transformed himself from backwater miscreant to closet human. After a brief career as a professional photographer he resumed his lifelong painting practice and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among the grants and scholarships he received are from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Artists Fellowship, the Vermont Studio Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Durham, NC Arts Council and Kent State University. He was a finalist for a National Endowment for the Arts grant in painting. He twice won the Grand Prize at the North Carolina Artists Exhibition and represented North Carolina in Art in America at Art Basel. He has worked with galleries and art dealers in New York, Atlanta, Santa Monica, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.
Among distinguished venues where he has exhibited his paintings are the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), the Duke Museum of Art, the Duke Institute for the Arts, Gallery Siano (Philadelphia), E S Vandam Gallery (NYC) and The Painting Center (NYC).
He taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Kentucky State University, and designed and taught a course in abstraction at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center.
He paints daily as well as practicing Zen meditation and the martial art Kajukenbo. He lives and works outside Chapel Hill, NC with his wife, artist Cathy Kiffney.