Cecily Brown’s homecoming exhibition, Madrepora, at her new gallery Thomas Dane, is an absolute delight. After leaving the UK in 1994 for New York, the British artist, a contemporary of the YBAs, returns to London with an exquisite two-part show in both spaces that Thomas Dane commands on Duke Street in Mayfair. The palette, the gestural brushstrokes, the hints at figuration and flesh, the immersive large canvases… sublime. Brown may have felt more at home in New York over the years given her non-conceptual practice but this show is a return to glory - Britain’s own Willem de Kooning but with an erotic feminine perspective instead. Sexy, luscious, inviting. Madrepora, the title of the show, is a genus of corals found in tropical locations and refers to a passage from Proust, capturing the act of looking at a group of girls on the beach. Taking the artist’s quote from the press release for this show, I leave you with this final clue into the artist’s psyche. “I want there to be a human presence without having to depict it in full.” – Cecily Brown. The exhibition is on until 23rd July.
Thomas Dane Gallery, London
June 29, 2016