Stanley Brouwn, 1935–2017

The Dutch conceptual artist has died

Stanley Brouwn, This way Brouwn, 1964, felt-tip pen, 25 x 32 cm

Dutch conceptual artist Stanley Brouwn has died, age 81. Konrad Fischer Galerie, which represented the artist in Berlin and Düsseldorf, has confirmed the news originally reported in de Volkskrant.

Brouwn was born in 1935 in Suriname and moved to Amsterdam in 1957. There he was introduced to the artist group Zero, which advocated, among other things, the rejection of the authorial signature, and started working on conceptual, participative pieces in which he would transfer the act of creation into the hands of the public. In one of his most well-known series for instance, Brouwn would approach strangers in the street and ask them to draw directions to various places on pieces of paper, which he then stamped with the words ‘This way Brouwn’. In keeping with this impersonal creative process, the artist remained very private for most of his career, never attending an opening, declining interviews and photographs or for his work to be reproduced in catalogues.

Brouwn taught at the Kunstakademie Hamburg for many years, and had a major retrospective in 2005 at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He was also recently featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s 2009 exhibition In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976, and his work was included in major exhibitions including Documenta 5, 6, 7, and 11.

22 May 2017