David Browne

As a visual artist I make pieces that combine the disciplines of weaving, painting, and sculpture. Over and above the purely visual aspects of my work, I am interested in the effects that digital technology has on art and aesthetics as well as on culture and human behavior. Thus my work offers the viewer an analog counterbalance to and critique of digital technology.

David has a B.A. in Fine Art and Art History from Oberlin College, an M.A. in Art Education from Kean University, and an M.A. in Counseling from St. Mary’s University. Early in his career he was an art teacher. He began exhibiting in the late 1970’s through the mid 80’s, but then a long hiatus in exhibiting ensued during a long stint in the social services field. However, during that period, he produced over 500 finished paintings, drawings and sculptures.

David paints and weaves using rigid procedural frameworks. These rigid procedures actually allow randomness to play a large role in how a piece evolves. “Thus when I start a painting or sculpture, I have no idea how it will appear when finished, yet it always ends up somehow evoking a natural landscape.”

In his earliest work, in 1984, he was pushing layers of paint and inks through window screens to create vibrant “digital” landscapes. He painted layered grid-like structures and broken down grids. From the late 1990’s through 2013 he used weaving, fishing line, and primitive hand-made looms as analog equivalents of hi-tech programming, software, and hardware to produce translucent 3-dimensional woven sculpture.

From 2013 to 2017, he took a detour away from weaving and digital concepts, and made a series of over 300 panoramic landscape paintings. In retrospect, it was a detour that led straight back to the main highway of his interest in weaving as an analog version of digital technology.

Recently I discovered that the material I had been painting on to make traditional landscapes could be cut into fiber-like strands and woven together to create a “digital” or pixelated surface. Thus, I began to produce woven paintings. I also discovered that the techniques I was using to apply paint to make traditional landscape images could be used on a “woven” surface to make a wholly new type of landscape painting… a woven painting comprised of big irregularly shaped “pixels” that pieced together reveals a bit of the “fabric” of which the world is made. My hope is that these paintings will open a bit of the real, analog world back up to viewers whose lives have become digitized and remind us that this world is not comprised of pixels at all but is something much more wonderful, expansive, and miraculous than that.

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