Joe Brainard

A osborne brainard

1941 - 1994

Lives in New York (United States).

Joe Brainard's drawings, collages, assemblages, and paintings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Museum, and the Joe Brainard Archive at the University of California, San Diego, as well as in many private and corporate collections. His work is now represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, which mounted a retrospective of his work in 1997, followed by a smaller show six months later. In February of 2001, a major traveling retrospective, consisting of approximately 160 pieces, opened at the Berkeley Museum of Art. By the early 1980s, Joe had become increasingly dissatisfied with his art. Fearing complacency and uninterested in self-repetition, over the years he had kept raising the standards he set for himself, until finally he set one so high that he could not reach it. The resulting frustration and discouragement made him decide to do something other than make art. In a sense, he became his art. And he achieved his lifelong goal: having friends—gay and straight—who not only admired him, but loved him, and still feel that, when he died of AIDS-induced pneumonia, on May 25, 1994, something unbelievably sweet and brilliant left the world.

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