"...hold on..." - Erykah Badu, 2009
Mixed media on framed panel
152 x 122 cm

artist profile

Iona Rozeal Brown



lives and works

New York, USA


BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, USA, 1999
MFA, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, USA, 2002

about the artist

Iona Rozeal Brown heartily embraces the transnational currents that course through our increasingly flat globe, and produces a series of hybrid pictures that she refers to as her “afro-asiatic allegories.” To most, only a tentative connection exists between contemporary black hip-hop culture and Edo Japan—Brown dispels this falsehood by unearthing a wealth of similarities between the two visual traditions and overlaps in their ideological roots. She finds a common language, especially in the heroine—independent of her gender, race, or class—who seeks her identity and role in an idealized, decadent society. Fruitful by-products of this investigation are the discourses generated on the question of appropriation, fetishization, and cultural stereotyping. The artist has held solo shows throughout the United States, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Akron Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles. The artist has received numerous prestigious grants, including the Presidential Grant at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1997, the Camile Hanks Cosby Fellowship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, both in New York in 2007, and the Joyce Foundation Award in 2009. 

  • Selected exhibition history
  • Permanent collections
  • Projects
  • Editions
  • Publications
  • Recent news

2011SOLO iona rozeal brown, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA

GROUP Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists, Bronx Museum, USA

SOLO iona rozeal brown, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, USA

2010GROUP Roundabout, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand

SOLO mythologies and mash-ups, MOCA Cleveland; Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA

GROUP The Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

2007GROUP Paper Trail: African American Works on Paper, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA

2005GROUP Bodies of Evidence, RISD Museum, Providence, USA

2004GROUP Sixth Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA

SOLO a3...black on both sides, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, USA

SOLO Matrix 152, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA

2003GROUP International Paper, UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA

GROUP New Visions: Emerging Trends in African American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C., USA

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA

Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica, USA

Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA