Measure of Me
This painting depicts a figure, dressed in a brightly patterned coat and tights, listening to someone speaking on the phone as they smoke a cigarette. The cord of the receiver matches a cord the figure absent-mindedly ties around their thigh, as if measuring it. The subject's cadmium-red hands move viewers' eyes away from their face, instead focusing attention on their body language. This work's texture and intense patterning tempts viewers to reach out and stroke the work—seducing with bright colors and empathic surfaces. However, once viewers have relaxed into the painting, they realize things are not as they initially appear.
Nell Brookfield builds up her work through thin layers of natural pigments, using both acrylic medium and oil paint on linen. The artist's compositions are crops of what could be larger works, asking viewers to imagine what lurks just beyond the canvas.
Nell Brookfield’s humorous paintings exaggerate the situations they portray while exploring the strangeness of human behavior and rituals. The artist builds up thin layers of natural pigments mixed with acrylic medium and oil paint onto linen canvases, creating works that concentrate on texture and feature bright colors and intensely patterned surfaces. Brookfield’s compositions focus on body language and touch, and appear to be cropped from larger works—inviting viewers to imagine what lurks just beyond the canvas.
Nell Brookfield was born in 1994. The artist received a BS in Anthropology from the University College London in the UK, a postgraduate MA-Level from the Royal Drawing School in London, UK, and an MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
Exhibitions of Brookfield’s work have taken place at: SEPTEMBER in Hudson, New York; Niru Ratnam Gallery in London, UK; Tabula Rasa Gallery in Beijing, China; Linseed Projects in Shanghai, China; Eve Leibe Gallery in London, UK; Guts Gallery in London, UK; Royal Drawing School in London, UK; Christie’s Auction House in London, UK; Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York; Crypt Gallery in London, UK; and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island; among others.
Brookfield has been an artist in residence at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island; the Borgo Pignano Painting Residency with the Royal Drawing School in Volterra Pisa, Italy; and the Royal Drawing School in London, England.
Brookfield’s work has been covered in publications, including: Duke University Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, It’s Nice That and Evening Standard Magazine, among others.
Brookfield’s work has been published in: Cusp: Feminist Writing on Bodies, Myth & Magic, a book of feminist stories, essays and poetry exploring bodies, myth and magic published by Ache Magazine; On Reflection: 700 years of Dante Alighieri, published by Crypt Gallery to mark the 700th anniversary of Dante; and You Are What You Eat, a catalogue published by Eve Leibe Gallery.
Brookfield currently lives and works in London, England.