Kelsey Brookes | Cosmic Symmetries

Feb 25 - Apr 8, 2023 7655 Girard Avenue
Installation Views

Opening Reception

Saturday February 25, 6-8pm

Quint Gallery is pleased to announce Cosmic Symmetries, an exhibition of new paintings by Kelsey Brookes. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, February 25 from 6-8 pm. 

Throughout his career, Brookes has painted to explore the scientific concepts that make up the world, applying abstraction to the concrete and testing the limits of reality. In these recent works, Brookes has been driven by symmetry and mathematic principles which govern nature. Symmetry is both a fundamental element and a tool— to understand and discover the workings of the universe, which in turn reveals the underlying structures and patterns of the environment around us.

From this starting point, he studies both what it is about symmetry that attracts us and how its rules have been used to describe the behavior of particles and fields in the physical world. His paintings, with meticulous attention to detail, contain an array of visual stimuli that first disorient and then organize around a perimeter of patterns and undulating lines. Brookes explores how our environment fixes our attention and in response, builds paintings using those same principles.

In some works, viewers also find miniature figures and text hidden within the patterns that foreground the canvas. Brookes has often experimented with ways of seeing; in the past he has used light sensitive paints that become illuminated under UV, and mirrored platforms which created symmetry in three-dimensional structures. It is easy to miss the mushrooms being foraged by small gnomes accompanied by white rabbits, imagery associated with the effects of psychedelic substances. In these works, such figures encounter the symmetry of the universe he builds, creating a sensorial reaction of curiosity and amusement when discovered. 

Often characterized by the influence of his early years as a molecular biologist, Brookes bridges the worlds of art and science by showing the dichotomy of each discipline. His practice takes ideas and forms found in molecular structures, number sequences, and logic, and grants non-scientists access to the invisible world of atoms, which make up everything that ever has been or will be. Brookes has had solo exhibitions in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, London and Berlin and his work lives in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation.

Selected Works