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Coady Brown at Shulamit Nazarian
In “Rabid Heart,” the artist’s second solo show with the gallery, Coady Brown brings an air of charged mystery to her paintings. Figures, both feminine and androgynous, are rendered in shadowy settings lit with dynamic, cinematic spotlights. Whether the figures are engaged in dance-floor embraces or sharing intimate moments atop a kitchen counter, Brown imbues these scenes with a sense of privacy, too — as if the subjects are controlling what we see, and ultimately, how they’re perceived.
Upon closer examination of paintings like “Out of Reach” (2023), which takes place in a nightclub, all we see are anonymous limbs, save for a single glowing face lurking under a table. And in the show’s titular painting “Rabid Heart” (2023), the kitchen counter figures look at us as if we’re interrupting something that we are not meant to be privy to.
With warm purples, a wide spectrum of glowy greens, and illuminating yellows, Brown offers up scenes like mood rings. We get a sense of the general vibe, but the subjects maintain autonomy over the details of their goings-on. Still, the glimpses we get are electric.
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Photo: Coady Brown: Rabid Heart, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, April 8–May 13, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: Ed Mumford.