Biography of Byron Browne
Byron Brown was born in New York in 1907.
He was a central force in modernist artistic movement in New York around
He was an early member of the Artists' Union, a founding member in 1936
of the American Abstract Artists, and a participant in the Artists'
Congress until 1940.
Browne's artistic training followed traditional lines.
From 1925 to 1928, he studied at the National Academy of Design, where
in his last year he won the prestigious Third Hallgarten Prize for a
still-life composition. He became friends with John Graham and Arshile
Gorky to be enlightened with the new phenomena of modern art. He became
fascinated with Picasso, Braque, Miro, and other modern masters.
Browne became a founding member of the American Abstract
Artists, as well as being involved in a variety of other political
and artistic groups at this time. Browne wrote and spoke frequently in
defense of abstraction.
Cubism can be seen as the dominant influence in his work in the 1930s.
By the 1940s his paintings had relaxed into softer, biomorphic forms
reminiscent of Arp and Miró. In the 1950s, in response to the emergence
of Abstract Expressionism, his work became more gestural and painterly.
However, these styles were never mutually exclusive; Browne felt free to
combine any or all of these elements, depending on his expressive
He taught at the Art Students League beginning in 1948, and in 1949 he
became a professor at New York University. Byron Browne died in New
York in 1961.
Byron Browne painting at Brooklyn Museum