A new art exhibition, “Two Generations of Print Makers: Frederick Foster Brown and Gary Frederick Brown,” will hang in the Boise State Student Union Fine Arts Gallery through Sept. 23.
The exhibition features work by two printmakers, not to mention a compelling family story.
Frederick Foster Brown was a Boise printmaker, framer and art dealer. He was the owner of Brown’s Art Store on Main Street (near the current Art Source Gallery) for three decades until the late 1950s. Brown had a global sensibility when it came to art. He brought a Latino print exhibit to Boise featuring works by Carlos Mérida, Roberto Montenegro, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, long before those artists became mainstream. Brown was also a founding member of the Boise Art Association, which became the Boise Art Museum. His own prints and frames hung in homes throughout Boise. To this day, local framers are familiar with his hand-carved frames.
Brown’s grandson, Gary Frederick Brown, was born just months after Frederick Brown’s death in 1966. Gary Brown, who is also a printmaker, grew up without knowing about his grandfather’s work or store in Boise. He happened upon a old print block made by his grandfather. The discovery began his reconnection to Frederick Brown’s work and art.
Gary Brown lives in Los Angeles. He creates monotype prints enhanced with chalk pastel and pencil with physics-inspired compositions. Frederick Brown’s prints, in comparison, are more figurative. The exhibition includes one of his prints, “Rocky Mountain Landscape,” loaned by the Boise Art Museum for the exhibition.
“For Gary,” said Fonda Portales, curator of the university’s art collection, “this show is proof that art, as powerfully as DNA, allows us to capture a person’s essence by closely examining their artwork.”