Essays & Articles

The Dragon’s Whisper
A Note On Pegan Brooke’s Recent Paintings

Essay by Mark Van Proyen
Bay Area-based art critic and corresponding editor for Art in America

Brooke uses elegant gradations of oil paint with subtle inflections of unpredictable chromatic additions that make them shimmer in the light of a closer scrutiny…

Her guileless invitation to intimate gazing is perfectly balanced by the paintings confident intrusion into the social spaces they might inhabit…

Brooke’s paintings force the viewer to decelerate from the condition of high velocity image consumption. In this emphasis on deceleration, they are very much of a piece with the work of Georgio Morandi.

    S-173 , 2014, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.


S-173, 2014, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.

Pegan Brooke at George Lawson Gallery

Review by Greg Flood
January 2015

…answers are not what she is looking to provide. The paintings are meditations, beckoning us to slow down and contemplate their subject; to force us to answer for ourselves the questions of what the land means and what our role in it is. 

These are paintings to return to again and again, to continue to ask questions of, to seek answers from… their strengths are the connection they forge with the viewer and the search they illicit within us to find answers to the greater human concern of our relationship to the world.

In an (art)world dominated by go-go-go, to produce works that instantly make a connection with the viewer and which can sustain a continued conversation over time is a mean feat that is a rare find.

     S-172 , 2014,   oil on canvas,   26 x 36 in.


S-172, 2014, oil on canvas, 26 x 36 in.

Pegan Brooke: ”Selected Paintings“ at George Lawson Gallery

Review by Dewitt Cheng
Art Ltd. Magazine
March 2015

The landscape-inspired paintings of Pegan Brooke, with their atmospherically modulated minimalist grids or brick courses, demand and reward attentive looking; they’re quiet meditations on nature and painterly perception that challenge the current obsolescence paradigm: art that stays art.

Brooke’s landscapes marry the exalted pantheism of romantic 19th-century painters like Caspar David Friedrich and Ferdinand Hodler with the process-based spirituality of Agnes Martin. The rich textures, composed of gestural marks—which suggest inchoate texts to readerly types—and her silvery-gray palette (enlivened by mica-flake iridescence) have something of Jasper Johns as well, while the tremulous, living surfaces suggest Morandi.

These are paintings that are engaged in a dialogue with the culture of art history as well as with living nature.

     S-150,    2014,   oil on canvas,   62 x 52 in.


S-150, 2014, oil on canvas, 62 x 52 in.