RobertDelford Brown

Biography

Robert Delford Brown (1930 Portland, Oregon, USA – 2009 Wilmington, North Carolina, USA) was a painter, sculptor, and performance artist. His iconoclastic and provocative attitude undermined and deconstructed America’s social and religious conventions. During his honeymoon with Rhett Cone, Delford Brown met Allan Kaprow, who subsequently invited him to join the cast of Originale by the German avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The performance, which took place at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York in 1964, was picketed by several artists including George Maciunas who referred to Stockhausen’s work as “cultural imperialism,” criticizing and repudiating his canonical compositions. Perhaps his most famous work is Meat Show (1964), an environmental installation staging brothel-like chambers and thousands of pounds of lamb, pork, and beef hanging in a large refrigerator unit at the Washington Meat Market in New York. The installation was presented as a grand opening service for “The First National Church of the Exquisite Panic, Inc.,” a transcendental humorist religion of a pagan-orthodox nature, founded by Delford Brown in 1964. Later, Francesco Conz published Ikons of The First National Church of the Exquisite Panic, Inc. (1992), a volume entirely devoted to the charismatic proselytizing of Delford Brown’s religion, enriched with texts by Allan Kaprow and Hermann Nitsch. Both artists referred to Delford Brown’s works as eccentric and irreverent, radical and visionary. Robert Delford Brown’s works are included in the collections at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Denver Art Museum.

Artworks (15)