Jeff Brouws
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Jeff Brouws, born in San Francisco in 1955, is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narrative and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced by the New Topographic Movement, the artist books of Ed Ruscha (to whom Brouws paid homage with his Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations project in 1992) as well as the writings of cultural geographers like J.B. Jackson, Dolores Hayden and John Stilgoe, Brouws has combined anthropological inquiry and a bleak aesthetic beauty mining the overlooked, the obsolete, the mundane.

Initially engaged with what Walker Evans termed the "historical contemporary" along America's secondary highways beginning in the late 1980s, over the following twenty years Brouws has extended this inquiry into the everyday places occupied by most Americans – the franchised landscapes of strip malls, homogenized housing tracts and fast food chains. More recently, he has also instigated an all-encompassing photographic investigation of decimated inner cities: abandoned manufacturing sites, low-income housing, and other commercial ruins – residual public spaces left behind by the effects of de-industrialization, white flight, disinvestment, failed urban policy and overall societal neglect. Throughout these various series, Brouws seeks the nexus points behind the movement of capital and the cycles of construction, decline and renewal within the built environment. For him roads, highways and city streets – vital components of a national infrastructure – are both engines of economic development and symbols of human freedom. By subtle implication, his photographs also evoke the restlessness of an uncertain nation and communicate a low-lying foreboding. They also challenge the mythos of the American Dream and suggest an underlying disparity throughout a country that purports economic equality and social justice for all.

Brouws is the author of seven books including his most recent Approaching Nowhere published by W. W. Norton in 2006. His photographs can be found in major private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Harvard's Fogg Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, and the Henry Art Museum.

San Francisco, California, 1955; presently lives in Stanfordville, New York
Public education K-12th grade.
Self-taught photographer; owned and operated photography and graphic design studio in Santa Barbara, California 1982-1997.
1997 to present: works as fine-art photographer and part-time writer.
2008 BMW-Paris Photo Prize Shortlisted
2005 The George and Constance Hilton Book Award from the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society given for A Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer
1996 Individual Artist Program Award from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission
2010 Excerpts From The Narrative, Galerie Toni Tapies, Barcelona
2009 Approaching Nowhere, Olin Gallery, Kenyon College
2007 Approaching Nowhere, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston
2006 Approaching Nowhere, Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Approaching Nowhere, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Approaching Nowhere, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2004 American Typologies, Gallery Seomi, Seoul, South Korea
2003 American Typologies, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco Nov-Dec
American Typologies, Robert Mann Gallery, NYC
American Typologies, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
2001 Inside the Live Reptile Tent, Robert Mann Gallery, New York City
Inside the Live Reptile Tent, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Photographs by Jeff Brouws, Ralls Collection, Washington D.C.
2000 The Myth of Mobility: selections from Highway 1989-2000 & Typology VI: Freight Cars, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
A City Renewed, Cleveland Museum of Art
1999 Eight from Vegas: A selection from the American Cities Project Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1998 Highway: America's Endless Dream, Robert Mann Gallery, New York
  Highway: America's Endless Dream, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
  A Landscape Laid Quiet: The Abandoned Drive-In Theatre in America, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
  Highway: America's Endless Dream, Museum Ludwig, Aachen, Germany
1997 Midway (Carnival photographs), Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, California
Highway: Amertica's Endless Dream, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
1996 Highway: America's Endless Dream, Galerie Brigette Ihsen, Cologne, Germany
1994 Excerpts From The Narrative, The Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara
1989 Views From Ground Zero, De La Guerra Gallery, Santa Barbara
1980 Death and Transfiguration, Visible Light Gallery, Santa Barbara
2010 Road to Nowhere (curated by Natasha Egan) Houston Fotofest
La photographie n’est pas l’art. La collection Silvio Perlstein, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, Belgium
2009 La photographie n’est pas l’art. La collection Silvio Perlstein, Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
  Berkus Collection, Alan Hancock College, Santa Maria
2008 Remembering Dakota, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  Road Trip, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California
2007 Oog-Eye: Photographs from Collection Dancing Bear, FOAM Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam
  Contemporary, Cool and Collected, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina
Easy Rider: Road Trip Through America, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
  Made in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California
  Ingenuity: Photography and Engineering 1846-2006, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
2006 Suburban Escape, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California
Barry Berkus and Family Collection, Santa Barbara, California
Sans Regard, La Collection Dancing Bear de W.M. Hunt, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne
Summer in the Central Court, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas
2005 Wordplay, Julie Saul Gallery, New York
Sans Regards" or "No Eyes: Highlights from Collection Dancing Bear, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles
Small Images I, Ventura College Main Gallery, Ventura, CA 
2002-3 The Altered Landscape: Selections from the Carol Franc Buck Collection from the Nevada Museum of Art, Norsk Museum of Photography, Norway
2003 Summer Life, Alice Austen House Museum, New York City, New York
Wait Until Dark: Night Photography, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Elegy: Contemporary Ruins, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver
Rocks and Stones in Photography, Eugenio de Alemeida Foundation
2002 Obsession, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
2001 Friends of the West, Santa Barbara Museum of Art Santa Barbara
2000 The Mural as Muse Deutsche Bank Gallery, New York City
Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Lake Austin Fine Arts
Starlight on the Rails, Robert Mann Gallery, NYC
Trailer, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
One Hundred Years of Vernacular Signage, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
Drive-Ins: Disappearing Summer Cinema, The Lobby Gallery, Deutsche Bank, New York
1999 New Voices/New Visions, University Art Gallery, UCSD
Blind Spot VII Show, Robert Mann Gallery, New York
1998 Counter Culture: The Diner in America, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York
Drive-Ins: Disappearing Summer Cinema, Yancey Richardson, New York
1997 Vegas: Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles
XX-Sight, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California
California Currents, Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California
IAP Award Winners Exhibition, Santa Barbara Arts Council, Ridley-Tree Education Center, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1995 Santa Barbara/New York Photographers, Jerrold Burchman Fine Art, Santa Barbara, California
The Home Show, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California
1994 Chair-ity, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California
1991 Remembering Marion Post Wolcott, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1990 The Fund for Santa Barbara Auction, De La Guerra Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
1988 Santa Barbara Arts Festival, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California
1987 Homeless in Paradise, Frameworks Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
1986 Santa Barbara Museum of Art Competition, Santa Barbara Arts Council Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
1984 Santa Barbara Collects, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art
The Fogg Museum, Harvard University
Princeton University Art Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Henry Art Museum, Seattle
Spencer Museum of Art
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
North Dakota Museum of Art
Margulies Collection, Miami
Berman Collection, Los Angeles
Fannie Mae
Nash Editions
California Endowment
Brookings Institute
St Lawrence University
Rhode Island School of Design
Goldman-Sachs Corporate Collection, New York City
Genentech, South San Francisco
Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, Santa Barbara
California Supreme Court, San Francisco
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, New York City and London
West Collection
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Ed Ruscha
Marion Post Wolcott
Jay DiBiaso, Miami
Sofia Coppola and Spike Jones
Rodrigo Prieto
Robert Sobieszek
Robert Venturi, Philadelphia