Show Preview | Irby Brown

Santa Fe, NM
Ventana Fine Art, October 2-14

Irby Brown, Magical Morning, oil, 30 x 36.

Irby Brown, Magical Morning, oil, 30 x 36.

This story was featured in the October 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story

Santa Fe painter Irby Brown 
sold his first commissioned landscape when he was just 13 years old. Celebrating 73 years of creating “magic with oil on canvas,” Ventana Fine Art presents a solo show of Brown’s most recent works, opening with an artist’s reception on Friday, October 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. “A Santa Fe legend known for his street scenes in winter, Brown paints en plein air in all seasons, finding and capturing the luminous enchantments of Santa Fe, his adopted hometown; other parts of New Mexico; and areas of exceptional natural beauty in Texas, where he grew up,” says Wolfgang Mabry, fine art consultant at Ventana Fine Art. “Anyone lucky enough to meet Irby finds him gracious and easy-going—a nice complement to the magnificence and warmth of his paintings,” he adds.

Influenced by the works of Joaquín Sorolla and the Impressionists, Brown’s plein-air and studio works of the desert Southwest and southern Colorado feature muted colors and loose brushwork that comes together at a distance, but upon closer inspection fractures into energetic swipes of color. He brings to the show around 15 works, ranging in size from 9 by 12 inches up to 54 by 70 inches. And although he hasn’t painted around any specific theme, collectors who know his work will find familiar subject matter, from local landscapes in all seasons—including his much sought-after winter scenes of Santa Fe—to goat and burro paintings. “People have known me for my [paintings of] goats,” Brown says. “They are just lovely animals. Their coats have beautiful colors. And their shapes and structure are really lovely.” Brown says he likes to paint goats and burros with backlighting, so that the colors of the surrounding environs can be seen in the animals’ lighter coat along the underbelly.

Brown signs copies of the recently released book on his work during the show’s opening reception. The book was written by Richard Brunson, who is also on hand for the signing. Collectors are encouraged to view the works early, since they are extremely popular, Mabry says, and never languish in the gallery. —Laura Rintala

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Featured in the October 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art October 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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