Alexander Brown Obituary

Alexander  Brown
Alex Brown
Alexander Brown

April 23, 1966 - January 30, 2019
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Artist Alex Brown, 52, died at his home in Des Moines Wednesday, January 30, of natural causes.

Brown was born April 23, 1966 at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines to William T. and Sibylla Brown. He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines and graduated from Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where his interest in becoming an artist was ignited. He began his undergraduate studies at New York University and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Parsons School of Design. Following graduation from Parsons, he established himself as a painter in New York, known for work that engages the viewer with abstracted interpretations of everyday images and found photos. Reviewing one of his early shows, The New York Times described him as “an inventive young New York painter [who] combines photorealism and Vasarely-style abstraction,” achieving “a tension between abstraction and illusion in his pictures that is most arresting.” He showed primarily at Feature in New York, as well as internationally, with solo shows in Paris, Geneva, Tokyo, Brussels and elsewhere. He was a recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He returned to Des Moines in the late 1990s, where he also produced several notable works of public art. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Des Moines Art Center, and various other institutions.

Brown was also a leading member of the early hardcore punk scene in Iowa, New Hampshire and then in New York, as a member of the New York bands Gorilla Biscuits, Side by Side, and Project X in the late 80s and early 90s, and a prodigious producer of zines and flyers. After playing a CBGB benefit show in 2006, Gorilla Biscuits began playing again, and toured widely throughout the world with the band to a devoted following.

Brown is survived by his parents, brothers Christopher Brown (Agustina Rodriguez) of Austin, Texas and Bill Brown of Des Moines, nephew Hugo Nakashima-Brown (Ajin Lim) of New York and Seoul, and dear cousin Katiti King of New York. A memorial will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Alex and gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to the art department of Holderness School.





Des Moines Art Center- Levitt Auditorium
4700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Saturday, February 23, 2019
2:00 PM
Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Saturday, February 23, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM