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Brown gives life to rectangles in exhibit

Bivins visitors can experience the vastness of the night.

Die Grosse Nacht,'' orThe Vast Night,'' is an exhibit of abstract oil paintings by Mark Brown on display in the Institute of the Arts gallery. Brown, a North Carolina resident, was one of the 26 selected artists in the 1993 North Carolina Artist Triennial Exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The artist describes his own works as a description of that relationship between ourselves and the world that requires no effort and has no desire to make sense of the world.'' Like the Rainer Maria Rilke poem also entitledDie Grosse Nacht,'' one might ``gaze in wonder'' at the various pieces.

Although it is difficult to make sense of Brown's creations, they are nevertheless, visually striking. Each piece shares the recurring pattern of rectangle-upon-rectangle.

Two of the smaller pieces, Jugend-Bildnis Meines Vaters'' (Portrait of My Father as a Young Man) andWendund'' (Turning Point), are on masonite. This wood fiber surface further accentuates the layered rectangle texture.

``Mohammed's Ecstasy'' is one of five oil on canvas works. Unlike the others, this painting contains more curves than the other angular works. This work suggests the image of a deeply thinking person or perhaps a man suspiciously looking over his shoulder. However, the painting could also be of a man gazing at an inferno because a mixture of fiery reds and oranges surrounds a round, brown face.

The remaining creations are on paper. Among these, ``Idol'' stands out in its grainy, white brightness. Although white constitues the majority of space, a multitude of fall and winter colors lie exposed beneath the white layers.

Brown, who recently received his Master of Fine Arts from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a best known as a decorative painter. His specialty is in restoration projects, one of which was Baldwin Auditorium.``Die Grosse Nacht'' will be on display in the Institute of the Arts gallery in Bivins Building through Friday, Sept. 10.


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