American (b. 1948)
MONHEGAN ISLAND VILLAGE, 2007
watercolor on paper, 24 x 39 inches (sight),
signed lower left "Doug Brega"
Hammer Galleries, New York, New York;
Private Collection, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Hammer Galleries, New York, New York, "Doug Brega
'In theNew England Tradition' - Recent Works," May 6 - June 3, 2008.
Note: A copy of the exhibition catalog from Hammer Galleries
accompanies the lot.
“What I strive for is a precise and honest interpretation, not a mirror of reality or a personal comment about a subject... (They) are sturdy, uncomplicated buildings and homes. The beauty is found in the clean forms and solid function of each architectural element.” - Doug Brega
A native of Eastern Massachusetts, Brega attended Paier College of Art in nearby New Haven, Connecticut. He studied under the noted trompe l’oeil artist Ken Davies, who impressed upon him the importance of drawing as a foundation. Davies would become his most important teacher and mentor.
A 2008 exhibition catalog from Hammer Galleries notes, “Brega is a realist in a revelatory sense of the word. He paints not only what appears to the eye but also sees with an intensity that reveals a reality beneath the common one. Though the verisimilitude and masterful technique of his work is often commented on, for Brega the goal is more than an impressive accretion of detail: it is a glimpse of the true structure and character of his subject, whether it be a person or a building.”
Brega is best known for his portraits, New England homes, sailboats and old weathered barns. Regionally, his motifs are familiar and well-loved, nationally he has become a successful American Realist. Although highly photographic, the appeal in Brega’s compositions is that his close study reveals the essence of his subjects; the warmth of a house, the character of a sitter, or the memories of a place or an object.
Inspired by Andrew Wyeth, Brega often painted Monhegan Island in Maine, capturing the unique light and atmosphere of the region. Of the appeal of Monhegan, Brega commented “This island is very different from anywhere else and it has an abundance of character. The lack of modernization and its protection from development harks back to a less complicated time.”
Brega has achieved international recognition in his over 25-year career. In 2001, he and his twin brother David Brega were honored with an exhibition Oil and Water: A Twenty-Five Year Retrospective that toured the Springfield Museum of Fine Art in Massachusetts and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Fine Art in Missouri.