This summer expressionist painter Frederick J. Brown kicks off on a tour showcasing his retrospective Portraits In Jazz, Blues, and Other Icons in Kansas City, Mo. at both the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Jazz Museum. The exhibitions are free and will run from June 16 – Sept. 1. Next year Brown’s paintings will be given wall space at the New Orleans Museum of Art (Feb. 1 – Mar. 16) and the Studio Museum in Harlem (Apr. 23 – June 29).
The Kemper will feature over 30 portraits, still lifes, abstractions and various other works Brown has created in the last 30 years. At The American Jazz Museum visitors will be able to take a look at more than 20 of the artist’s portraits of jazz stars like Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ornette Coleman, Billie Holiday and mythical and historical legends like Stagger Lee, John Henry, and Crazy Horse. These works come from an ongoing series Brown began in 1987 that “pays tribute to the trailblazers [mythic and cultural] who have shaped and directed American culture.” Brown has completed over 100 such pieces, and expects to raise the number to more than 300.
Also, keep an eye peeled for 120 Wooster Street, a documentary film detailing Brown’s life and work. The movie was directed by Mary Barton Kemper, filmed by Tony Ramos and produced by John Altman and Aimée Larrabee. And Terence Blanchard lent a keen hand composing the music. 120 Wooster Street will air on TV this summer on a station to be announced.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO
American Jazz Museum
1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, MO