David Brewster

My paintings synthesize a 200-year-old tradition of American Scene Painting into a new breaking point of abstraction in order to make sense of an increasingly bizarre and incongruous synthetic landscape. I wield a wide range of abstract mark making into a language that provides structure and perspective to order an overwhelming visual clutter. My interpretations of urban centers, suburbia and farmlands are not as we remember them — not sentimental imitations, but as they are, hybrids of historic architecture and modern amenities of late-stage capitalism. My subjects are fast food drive-throughs, big-box shopping plazas, and rotting post industrial detritus. I represent them with neon hues and broad dynamic paint-rollered strokes evocative of our digital age. I also draw with colored masking tape which I retain or remove to achieve the sharp edges and piercing reflective lights of plastic, chrome and glass prevalent in our built environment. I find that I must preserve the glaring white brilliance of the painting surface in my attempt to harmonize the muted natural tonalities of nature with the strident fluorescent color characteristic of today’s road signage, prefabricated buildings, clothing, and vehicles.

David Brewster, November 2019


Born in Baltimore in 1960, David Brewster earned his MFA from the University of Pennsylvannia in 1988, and has since been invited to paint, lecture, and exhibit throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Brewster’s work has been the subject of over 25 solo gallery exhibitions, including “Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Social Landscape” at the Maryland Center for History and Culture, Baltimore (2017-2019). He has been reviewed in Art in America, Art New England, Art Scope, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe and The Baltimore Sun. He’s represented in private and museum collections including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, Berman Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Orton Foundation, Princeton University Art Museum, the Pennsylvania State Museum, the Wharton School of Business, the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Brown Advisory in Baltimore, MD, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok, Thailand. He has received numerous awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Taconic Berkshire Foundation, as well as fellowships at the Ballinglen Arts and Klots foundations. He’s represented by Chase Young Gallery, Boston, MA; Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; and C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD and Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts, Brattleboro, VT. Read more about David Brewster on Wikipedia.