James Brooks (October 18, 1906 – March 9, 1992) was an American muralist, abstract painter and winner of the Logan Medal of the Arts. Brooks was a friend of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner on Eastern Long Island. In 1947 he married artist Charlotte Park. Considered a first generation abstract expressionist painter, Brooks was amongst the first abstract expressionists to use staining as an important technique. According to Carter Ratcliff “His concern has always been to create painterly accidents of the kind that allow buried personal meanings to take on visibility.” In his paintings from the late 1940s Brooks began to dilute his oil paint in order to stain the mostly raw canvas. These works often combined calligraphy and abstract shapes. Brooks had his first one-man exhibition of his abstract expressionist paintings in 1949 at the Peridot Gallery in New York. The Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, Texas), the Harvard University Art Museums, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, Indiana), the Sheldon Art Gallery (Lincoln, Nebraska), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.), the Tate Gallery (London) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) are among the public collections holding work by James Brooks.
Image Courtesy of Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
Photograph by Hans Namuth © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate