Jesse Howard and Roger Brown: Now Read On
"Now Read On brings works by Jesse Howard and Roger Brown together in a gallery/museum setting, through a novel curatorial premise. A context critical to both artists—the art environment—is an important backdrop to this project. Approaching the home as both studio and museum is what brought Brown and Howard together initially, and grounded them both as artists." —Lisa Stone, from "Free Speech from the Home Front"
This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title organized by the UMKC Center for Creative Studies, the Roger Brown Study Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the H & R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, and held at the H & R Block Artspace, August 6–September 17, 2005; and at the Betty Rymer Gallery, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, October 14–November 18, 2005.
This innovative exhibition explores parallel ideas and conceptual junctures in the works of Jesse Howard and Roger Brown, both of whom expressed deeply-held perceptions of tension, irony, ambiguity and contradiction in American social, political and religious culture. Jesse Howard (1885–1983) and Roger Brown (1941–1997) existed in distinctly different cultural spheres: Howard, as a self-taught artist, in his home, studio and exhibition space, which spanned both sides of a country road near Fulton, Mo., and Brown, who was raised in Alabama but lived and worked in the urban, mainstream, cultural world of Chicago. Both were informed by the cultural and religious terrain of the South, had an affinity for popular forms of communication, shared populist points of view and were insistent on speaking their minds even though their opinions and ideas were often unpopular. Both artists addressed the range of polarized issues of their day, which continue to have strong contemporary currency. Each sought a greater truth, whether citing scripture to set the record straight, or by exposing fraud or bureaucracy in politics and religion. Each drew on personal history, faith and a skewed optimism that fueled the flames of their artistic creations.
The exhibition was curated by Lisa Stone and Raechell Smith. Texts by Jerry Bleem, Margaret Brommelsiek, Andrei Codrescu, Eleanor Heartney, Lucy R. Lippard, Raechell Smith, and Lisa Stone.
Published by UKMC Center for Creative Studies, 2005, debossed clothbound hardcover, 108 pages with 9 folded pages, 9 x 9 inches.