Art review: Richard Brown Lethem’s colorful chaos

Posted on the wall of Elizabeth Moss Galleries is a statement by painter Richard Brown Lethem that explains his process. Brown notes his use of the Surrealist technique “automatic writing.” He tries to free himself from conscious intention and lets his subconscious thoughts lead the way. In other words, he tries not to have a road map or predetermined ideas about his imagery. He wants to be surprised by his what he creates. This approach fits the look of the energetic, spontaneous and often logic-defying work. Lethem’s paintings are bold and open to conflict: Bright spots and happy gestures appear next to dark marks or dangerous figures.

Lethem’s thumbnail description of his work feels right. It’s an approach, not a contrived system of content. It opens the door to the imagery and the feeling of the work, which ranges from childlike playfulness to sexuality and fearsome figures. It finds love, connection

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