The Architecture of Collage, Marshall Brown’s first solo museum exhibition, is the most comprehensive presentation of his collages to date. There are twenty-five artworks in the exhibition, including loans from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Two of the most recent collage series, Prisons of Invention and Maps of Berlin, premiered at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Brown cuts out photographs of buildings and reassembles them into levitating structures that hover between reality and fiction. He calls them chimeras after the lion-goat-snake creature of Greek mythology. Like the monster, whose parts were taken from existing animals, the parts of these collages are taken from actual buildings but when combined form something new. They are physical proof that borrowing and recombination can yield strikingly original results and achieve what contemporary art often does so well: suggest that the world could be different than what it is without specifying what that might concretely be.