Janet Lee Brown


Janet Lee Brown '08

(American, born 1961)

Emilie Flöge, 2014

Plastic skeleton, glass heart, glass beads, metallic thread, jewelry elements, wood, paint

Courtesy of the artist

Artist's Statement:

For the past six years, the core of my assemblages has been the human

vertebral column. The spine reminds me of the snake, which led me

to think of metamorphosis, not like the butterfly, but more subtly as

when a snake sheds its skin. I built spines constructed of cast plaster

vertebra and clothed the hips of these life-sized pieces in skins of

accumulated objects – old bottle caps, watch parts, buttons – then

hung the sculptures from the ceiling to suggest ascendancy.

My current works are examinations of solitary women, real and

imagined, in an ongoing series called Cold Connections. It continues

the idea of metamorphosis, but is more prequel than sequel. The series

takes its name from the jewelry technique called cold connections,

the joining of items together without using heat. Thread and glue are

the fragile materials that bind each husk or chrysalis to tiny skeletons,

which themselves shield glass hearts within.

The assemblages are based on literary, artistic, natural, political, and

cultural ideas. Emilie Flöge is based on the portrait painted by Gustav

Klimt, her brother-in-law and close companion, whose work reflected

the Ravenna mosaics. I build not only on the trace elements we leave

behind as put forward by Marcel Duchamp, but also the evidence that

we have bumped into one another.


Last Updated: 9/29/22