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Dark Star

A work made of oil on panel.

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Glenn Brown
English, born 1966

About this artwork

Adopting imagery from a diverse array of artists—including Salvador Dalí, Frank Auerbach, and science fiction illustrator Chris Foss—Glenn Brown’s paintings transform his original sources into works of swirling, brightly colored paint. Copied from reproductions, his distortions project his manipulated figures into an eerily futuristic world. A direct quotation of Rembrandt van Rijn’s A Bust of a Young Woman Smiling (1633; Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden), Dark Star both captures and parodies the subtle expression of the original, yet still mimics its lush surface. Brown’s brushwork is actually thin, even glassy, rendering Rembrandt’s strokes utterly nontactile, their texture an illusion. The title, Dark Star, perhaps quoting the low-budget 1970s astronaut film of the same name, evokes the appeal of the science-fiction genre, serving to transport an Old Master painting into, or perhaps beyond, the realm of kitsch.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art


Glenn Brown


Dark Star




Made 2003


Oil on panel


100 × 75 cm (39 1/2 × 29 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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