Remembering Alex Brown

Rachel Kushner at Artforum:

“I’ll be wearing a blue anorak,” he said to me on the phone, so I could identify him when we met. We were more like immediate siblings than date possibilities for each other, and I repeated this line about a blue anorak to him for twenty years. He claims there was no blue anorak and what the fuck is an anorak, anyhow? But that’s what I remember. We went to see a Gerhard Richter show at Marian Goodman. I was aware that Alex’s grandfather Alexander Lippisch was a famous Luftwaffe aeronautical engineer who was recruited to White Sands Missile Range after the war. Looking at Richter’s paintings together, I immediately associated Richter’s blend of formal precision and German trauma with Alex’s. From the gallery, we walked into Central Park. We sat on a rock and Alex told me that one day, on a very similar rock, he’d been on acid with his friend the painter Alexander Ross. As they sat on this rock, tripping, they watched Alex Katz approach a Sabrett cart and buy a hot dog. Three painters named Alex: two on acid, one eating a hot dog. They left and went to Alex Brown’s place on Forsyth Street and, still tripping, walked into the scene of a dramatic drug bust.

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