A native New Yorker, Frederick Brosen began his studies at City College of New York, graduating in 1976. He studied art at the Art Students League and at Pratt Institute, receiving his MFA from Pratt in 1979. Mr. Brosen has been recognized with a Silver Medal of Honor by the Royal Society of Arts & Letters in London and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Watercolors by Frederick Brosen have been acquired by the New York Historical Society, the Knoxville Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, Frye Art Museum (Seattle) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and are in many private collections.
At dawn, Brosen travels on his bike and on foot in quest of new subjects, when the streets are devoid of the hustle-bustle of daily metropolitan life. With painstaking care and commitment, he sketches a scene, photographs it, and sketches again. Finally painting, Brosen builds his color by starting with light washes and adding layer after layer of rich tone. The results are crystalline and sophisticated images that reflect each location through the intimacy of countless details.
Brosen looks for places where complex streetscapes have created themselves: factories, garages, churches, and homes sit side-by-side along a pedestrian street; Temples, churches, mosques, and banks coexist with skyscrapers, carriage houses and tenements. Through decades of discovery, Brosen has created a unique sculptural vocabulary of ornament; Neo-classical adornments, gargoyles, cornices, storefront signs, wrought iron gates, cobblestones, and water towers. There is a haunting juxtaposition between the monumental and the banal within his cityscapes as he calls attention to how the layers of the past coexist with the present.