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In the end we all succumb to the pull of the molten core (2016)

Glenn Brown

Indian ink and acrylic on panel

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne





Indian ink, Acrylic, Panel


135 x 95 x 2.8 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society and the artist through Great Works, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, 2016

Ownership history:

Commissioned from the artist by the Contemporary Art Society through its Great Works scheme, supported by the Sfumato Foundation and the artist, November 2016; presented to Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, 2016/17
Glenn Brown has combined drawings of the head of an old man by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and that of a young man by Andrea del Sarto. The faces emerge from a gaseous swirl of almost calligraphic lines, the heads melded together as the young man looks forward to the future and the bearded elder looks back to the past with occluded eyes. The accumulation of marks would suggest a plasticity to the surface, but as with his earlier paintings, the hermetic smoothness of the finish denies any probing of the picture plane. While Brown’s paintings are emphatically handmade, the conjuring of protean form from an inchoate swarm gestures to very contemporary forms of digital animation.

In the end we all succumb to the pull of the molten core (2016) was made especially for the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, and is recognisable as part of a new body of work that the artist has embarked on since 2014. Famous for his appropriation and manipulation of old master paintings, Brown has developed a new group of works that instead borrow their subject matter from Renaissance drawings. The grey ground of the painting references the coloured paper favoured by artists of the period, and his black ink and white acrylic mediums mimic the ink with chalk highlights that were typically employed in sketches and preparatory works.

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