The paintings in James Brinsfield’s exhibition, Self-Titled, sit in dialogue with the beginnings of abstract expressionism. Brinsfield investigates the emotional, gestural work of painters like Jackson Pollock, fragmenting it and abstracting it even further. “I wanted to invent a new signature one that didn’t mimic the bravura model of the ab-exers, but used their work as a touchstone for a reappraisal of the model of gestural authenticity”. Brinsfield’s simple color combinations, thick daubs of paint applied into wet paint on the canvas, fill and level the surface of the canvas, reflecting a single plane where each color is laid on top of the other a succession of façades.
Brinsfield was born in Chicago and lived in Massachusetts and Germany as the son of a career military officer. While in high school in Massachusetts he was awarded a scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where he attended drawing classes. Thereafter he moved to Chicago and earned a BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA in painting and studied with noted abstract filmmaker Stan Brakhage.
Brinsfield has 17 one-person shows in his exhibition history including exhibitions in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City. He is the first painter awarded a Charlotte Street Fund Award in 1997. He has been reviewed in Art in America as well as reviews published of his work appearing in Art News, Flash Art, Contemporanea, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Kansas City Star. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, The Daum Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. For the past 16 years he has served as Lecturer in the painting department of the Kansas City Art Institute.