Tommy Brown: Upstate
Tommy Brown: Upstate is a retrospective look at the photographer’s decades-long study of his home in rural Central New York.
The earliest images in Tommy Brown: Upstate include black-and-white portraits of startling frankness. More recent color photographs resonate with the poetic clarity of paintings by Charles Sheeler, Georgia O’Keeffe, or Charles Burchfield. The consistent subject of Tommy Brown: Upstate is the spirit of this place, its natural and fierce beauty, the relationship of people to the land, and the marks of the past on present-day life.
Brown was born in Norwich, NY, and earned his undergraduate degree from Colgate University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. He lived in New York City briefly but discovered, “every picture I made I’d seen in a book [and] every time I went home I made an interesting picture.” He returned to Chenango County, NY, where he has made interesting pictures of people, farms, and the effects of weather on striking landscapes since the 1980s. Brown is especially sensitive to the effects of light through passing seasons.
Organized by Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Tommy Brown: Upstate is the first museum exhibition of the remarkable photographs Brown has composed during a lifetime of looking.