Two Generations of Print Makers: A Grandfather, His Grandson, Their Art

This exhibition celebrates the work of two generations of artists, linked through DNA and creativity, who met only through their art, as Fred died 10 months before Gary’s birth.

THE GRANDFATHER: Frederick Foster Brown was a linocut printmaker, art dealer and framer who lived and worked in the Boise area from 1913 thru the early 1960’s.

THE GRANDSON: Gary Frederick Brown is a Los Angeles based monotype printmaker, painter, jewelry designer and sculptor of both stone and porcelain.

The show was inspired by Gary’s chance discovery of a linocut block reading “Brown’s Print Show” amongst his grandfather’s blocks, which triggered his exploration of the roots of his artistry. It is the first time the two artists’ works have been shown side-by-side. Gary had come to know his “grandpa Fred” solely from a few cherished inherited possessions that he lived and worked around, namely: the violin he loved to play, wood-block carving tools, art instruction books, arts and craft period furniture and pottery, several dozen linocut blocks, and Fred’s mobile art box filled with his brushes, paints and pastels.

Having never met, there was no way to make the direct connection between Gary and his grandfather. There was no generational handoff, no mentor/mentee relationship. But once Fred’s prints were laid out in front of Gary, the connections started to appear, as if Fred were reaching down, through the work, to point out similarities inspired by their mutual DNA. Likenesses included the use of color, the ever-present reference to landscape, the focus on nature, and the dreamy nature of life. They both use simple lines and shapes combined with a pleasing use of color to draw us in. While Fred’s work is firmly planted in the world of representational reality and the pleasantries of everyday life, Gary’s art is rooted in the science of string and chaos theory; dynamic and otherworldly.

The USC Hillel Art Gallery’s mission is to provide Jewish students with opportunities to interact with Jewish art and engage with artistic experience and exploration. Additionally, the USC Hillel Art Gallery gives Jewish artists an opportunity to present their work in a Jewish space.

Reception parking is available across the street from USC Hillel in the University Village parking garage on the corner of S. Hoover and W. 32nd Street. Free street parking is also available. For further information please contact Jordyn Walker, USC Hillel Development Associate, 213-973-1202, or