Hamiltonian Presents Akea Brionne Brown A Brown Millennial and Curtis Miller A new series of paintings

By Editorial Team on February 17, 2020

Sat, 22 February 2020 - Sat, 21 March 2020

Akea Brionne Brown, All American Boys, 24” x 36” (unframed), Archival Inkjet Print.
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 22 from 7pm to 9pm

Hamiltonian is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibitions by Akea Brionne Brown and Curtis Miller. The opening reception will be hosted at the gallery on Saturday, February 22nd, from 7 – 9 pm.

Akea Brionne Brown | A Brown Millennial
In her most autobiographical installation yet, Akea Brionne Brown builds A Brown Millennial with powerful photographic portraits infused with aesthetics of Americana, vast swaths of color rooted in history and culture, and interactive texts that challenge what is personal and political.

In her own words, this work is a reflection of Brown’s world and what it means to exist as a young, black, American woman in a time where everything feels uncertain. In response to both personal events and political systems, A Brown Millennial exists to invite viewers into the contemplations and worries that consume the artist. Breaking away from the flatness of the photographic plane, Brown creates an immersive environment using pop culture phenomena like Buzzfeed Privilege Quizzes and paper takeaways and invites the viewer to engage with what may be uncomfortable.

Images from the past are a window into the present. Brown uses found textiles and personal history to examine contemporary politics in her own eyes: “I open up an honest dialogue about the topics that have been consuming my consciousness, specifically the contemporary state of African Americans and blacks throughout the continental United States.” The installation is built with urgent simultaneousness that can only be described as the reality of any millennial grappling with these intersectional issues. Representation and beauty within an American context are taken on powerfully through her portraits transforming textiles and the body; the overwhelming effects of mass incarceration on the black community are explored vulnerably; the diminishing awareness of ancestral practices that were erased through slavery and the great migration are alluded to through cultural signifiers from her homes of New Orleans and New Mexico. The reality of privilege is unpacked elegantly, and real questions are asked of the viewer.

Curtis Miller | A new series of paintings
Images that exemplify marks made over time. Inconspicuous marks. Marks made in different moods. And marks that are discernible and hold their own.

In his latest work, Miller draws inspiration through images from everyday life. At times these recognizable images create an illustrative and narrative aspect that Miller resists.  Glances and snippets of gestural marks peek through the grounds and the painting, and morphs in and out of abstraction. Curtis Miller is practicing an appreciation of the underlying aesthetic value of basic image components.  These new paintings are an exploration of mood, as Miller departs from a contained practice into something darker yet playful, unknown, but occasionally recognizable.

Akea Brionne Brown is a lens-based artist whose work investigates the implications of historical racial and social structures in relation to contemporary black life in America. With a particular focus on the ways in which history influences the contemporary cultural milieu of the American black middle class, she explores current political and social themes, as they relate to historical forms of oppression, discrimination, and segregation in American history.

Akea Brionne has received the Visual Task Force Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work is also featured in the Smithsonian’s Ralph Rinzler Collection and Archives, and was recently acquired by the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art Collection. She was announced the 2018 Winner for Duke Universityís Center for Documentary Arts Collection Award, as the 2018 Documentarian of Color. Her series, Black Picket Fences, was acquired for their permanent collection, and is on preserve at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She was nominated for PDNs 30 (Photo District News) 2018: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. Brown was also named a 2019 Sondheim finalist.

Additionally, Akea Brionne co-founded the Shades Collective, an interdisciplinary collective aimed at creating discussions around the realities of people of color within the arts and academia. Akea received her BFA (2018) from the Maryland Institute College of Art, in the dual degree program of Photography and Humanities. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Curtis Miller was born in Corsicana, Texas in 1979. Having spent his entire life in Texas, Curtis Miller relocated from Austin to Baltimore in 2011 to attend Maryland Institute College of Artís Hoffberger School of Painting and graduated in 2013. He has exhibited his paintings at K Space Contemporary (Corpus Christi, TX), Gaddis Geeslin Gallery (Huntsville, TX), Joan Grona Gallery (San Antonio, TX), The South Texas Art Museum (Corpus Christi, TX), and the Art Center of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, TX) . Curtis has also been exhibiting his paintings at Terrault Contemporary (Baltimore, MD), City Arts (Baltimore, MD), Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD), John Fonda Gallery (Baltimore, MD), Jordan Faye Contemporary (Baltimore, MD), and Platform Gallery (Baltimore, MD), Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York, NY) and Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC). He is a previous Sondheim Prize semi-finalist and currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD with his wife, his daughter, and dog Twig.

Hamiltonian is located at 1353 U Street NW. For more information visit www.hamiltoniangallery.com.