Stanley Brouwn

born 1935

Biography

Stanley Edmund Brouwn (25 June 1935- 18 May 2017) was a South-American-born Dutch conceptual artist. His works explore dematerialisation and combine with the deliberate anonymity of the artist himself to exemplify conceptualism in the 1960s. His best-known works include “This Way Brouwn”, “Afghanistan-Zambia” and “BROUWNTOYS 4000AD”.

Brouwn was born in 1935 in Paramaribo, the capital of the smallest South-American country, Suriname. In 1957, he relocated to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, a fellow artist and friend of Brouwn’s regarded simply as Armando introduced him to the Zero movement, a group of artists who deferred from the authorial signature artists often applied to their works. Brouwn’s first works coincided with his introduction to this movement. Brouwn taught as a professor at the Kunstakademie Hamburg for multiple years. The extensive privacy Brouwn maintained throughout his career and personal life has resulted in a lack of information surrounding his marital status, and if he has fathered any children. He died in 2017 in his hometown of Amsterdam at the age of 81.

Few of Brouwn’s early works, consisting of wood and iron sculpture and refuse-filled polythene bags, have survived his career as Brouwn destroyed most of them. However, the remainder of Brouwn’s works earned him placement in various prestigious exhibitions such as Documentas 5, 6, 7 and 11, and the 1982 Venice Biennale. In 2005, a retrospective collection of Brouwn’s works was exhibited in the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Netherlands. His practice and works have influenced various critics, artists and contemporary aesthetics.   

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