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.
The Dequindre Civic Academy (DCA) is more than a school.
Commissioned for "The Architectural ImagInation," U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, Marshall Brown imagines it as the physical manifestation of America’s motto, E pluribus unum – out of many, one. Bridging over Detroit’s Dequindre Cut, the three million square foot institution is a coordinate unit - a city within the city - dedicated to the education, wellness, and future of Detroit’s children.
Smooth growth fluidly weaves public and private landscapes to create a twenty-first century garden city. It treats cities as emergent systems and physical manifestations of collective intelligence. This plan is for a neighborhood in Chicago – Washington Park. Smooth Growth does not rely on increasing population density and reminds us that in urbanism, one should never confuse quantity with quality. Smooth growth's form aligns with socialized democracy in America by establishing a landscape of collective independence.
Smooth Growth Urbanism featured in Crain's
*Smooth Growth® is a registered trademark of Marshall Brown Projects, Inc.
The Smooth Growth House is a small American house that stretches out into the landscape, designed for living in 360 degrees. The dispersed interior of the house is gathered beneath an expansive overhanging roof with a curvilinear boundary – it is both one and many. Dynamic prairie house form and modest urban scale translate the hybrid space of smooth growth urbanism into architecture.