Though my paintings address a wide variety of subject matter across various bodies of work, they are united by common tendencies: a search for the sublime as well as an appreciation for the beauty of subtle details.
The sublime as described by philosopher Immanuel Kant can be experienced through the expansive, vast simplicity that inspires a sense of quiet admiration, perhaps accompanied by melancholia. Beauty may be found things that inspire joy or delight, in intricate, small details. With these ideals in mind, I try to share experiences and places with my viewers which are meaningful to me. My paintings of landscapes and swimming pools are places to fill with your thoughts, to feel the comfort of being small compared with an expansive space.
As someone who grew up amidst forests and lakes, I feel a primal need to feel small against a big sky. It is restorative to go to a peaceful place and contemplate the beautiful subtlety of colors and patterns of light in water and plants and sky. I make paintings of my favorite places and find this evokes an empathetic response in that people “recognize” these locations as sites significant to their own biographies, even though the actual geographic locations are nowhere near each other.
Conversely, my paintings of brick walls leave you nothing to look at but that which is directly in front of your face. They are meditations on the details of the crumbling facades of the buildings in Philadelphia, the physical history of a place. These paintings are constructed in the same way the buildings are made, layer by layer. Mortar, brick, plaster, and paint are built up and scraped down to reveal the history of their making. They contain fragments and dust from derelict and demolished buildings of Fishtown, Kensington, and West Philly.
In a city where many people work in windowless offices and go home to neighborhoods where potential green space is covered in concrete, landscape paintings serve as artificial windows into places we’d rather be.
As an artist, I strive to create work that will encourage contemplation and greater awareness of mundane beauty. By paying close attention to details, they become important. By sharing them through art, viewers translate this mindfulness to their own lives.
Brooke Lanier earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Tyler School of Art, where she spent her first year studying in Rome, Italy. Lanier also holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Art History. She has exhibited her work in Prague, Rome, and across the U.S. In 2007, she received 2nd award in Volkswagen’s “Driven” competition for young artists with disabilities, and had her work displayed in the Smithsonian Institute and the John F. Kennedy Center before going on a two-year national tour.
Lanier has over five years of experience teaching drawing and painting to all ages and abilities, from kindergarteners to adults, beginners to advanced college students. You can view her work by appointment at Brooke Lanier Fine Art.
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and Rome, Italy
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
BFA, Painting, Minor, Art History
YOU ARE HERE: New Works by Brooke Lanier, Goldilocks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Solitude and Solidarity, Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
ConText, Temple Contemporary Gallery, Rome, Italy
Detachment, Three Peas Art Lounge, Chicago, IL
New Work by Brooke Lanier and Adam Novak, The Sweatshop Gallery, Chicago, IL
Friends and Neighbors
, AIRspace Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Home, Goggleworks Gallery, Reading, PA
Artists-In-Residence: Brooke Lanier, Kate Perkins, and Rebecca Tennenbaum, Goldilocks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Small Works Show, Gallery 440, Brooklyn, NY
Hand-Lettered, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO (catalog)
WOOT!, The Icebox, Philadelphia, PA
Art for Kikko: Serious and Significant Works, La _Linea Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy
Love at First Sight, Mondelliani, Rome, Italy
Americans With Disabilities Act 19th Anniversary Celebration, ADA: Era for Change, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, IL
Volkswagen/ VSAarts: Driven Competition for Young Artists with Disabilities, The Smithsonian Institute’s S. Dillon Ripley Center and The John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
2 year national tour
The Painted Tongue, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL
Great Lakes Emerging Artists, Art Forum, State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia, Fredonia, NY
Detachment: BFA thesis exhibition, G2, Chicago, IL
První vyhráni z kapsy vyhráni, Doubner Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
The Encyclopedia Show Series 3, Volume 1: The Periodic Table of Elements, Vittum Theater, Chicago, IL
Program art for a variety show curated by Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Maney Magnusson
The Encyclopedia Show Series 1, Volume 1: A is for Bears, Chopin Theater, Chicago, IL
Performance in variety show curated by Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Maney Magnusson
Lindsay, Sibyl, “Brooke Lanier: Art Classes for Kids,” Hipster Henry, June 17, 2014
Klein, Michael, “Early Look at Volver” Philly.com February 11, 2014
“2013 In a Neighborhood Near You: MADE IN PHILLY,” POST, September 5, 2013
Seidler, Caitlin Ostrow, “Fighting Disability Stereotypes With Comics: I Cannot See You But I Know You Are Staring At Me,” Art Education, v64 n6 p20-23 Nov 2011
Cover art “Personal Best,” Tinge Magazine: Temple University’s Online Literary Magazine, Issue 1, Spring 2011
Howald, Lindsey, “Round About Art,” Columbia Tribune, January 25, 2009
Terry, Don, “Dark Humor,” Chicago Tribune Weekend Magazine, March 23, 2008
Rorie, Karen, “Vision Problems Opened Award-Winning Artist’s Eyes,” Rochester Post-Bulletin, November 23, 2007
Awards and Honors
Featured artist, Philadelphia Open Studios Tours “MADE IN PHILLY” billboard
Artist in Residence, Goldilocks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Second Place, Volkswagen/ VSAarts: Driven Competition
2003 – 2006
Presidential Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2002 – 2006
Merit Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Academic Incentive Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Images copyright © Brooke Lanier
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