Neave Brown

About Neave

At 20 I chose Architecture over Fine Art. I have drawn continuously, mainly charcoal life drawing and landscapes, but done no painting since school days.

As well as the paintings I am now doing (large, both on canvas and paper), I am still drawing - figure, landscape, 'abstract', often in sets. I have been concerned in previous years with a feeling of disparity between the groups of work I do, although it is all done with an equal sense of involvement.

Now, partly as a result of a greater skill, experience and experiment, partly increased sense of freedom, I have become more reconciled to the differences, with a growing sense of unity and purpose - of things 'joining up'. It is a subjective sense; I am not sure the work looks (or needs to look) that way to others. My first and primary influence throughout has been Abstraction from the post-war New York School, with subsequently all sorts of overlays and influences. I have never felt comfortable with or would assume the transcendental or 'fundamental reality' aspect of that early work (understandable after the war), nor art as meditation, nor concern with some spiritual state beyond the person - or at the other extreme, art as comment on perceived reality.

I prefer the idea of engagement and a sense of the threatened and untidy psyche its internal dynamics and conflicts and not always successful efforts to cohere - to hold it all together - a view of the simultaneity of complex self and complex world. So I think the compatibility I now feel between the various sorts of work I do as relating to - perhaps even showing - a condition of being - an actuality neither altogether objective nor subjective


Since 1950 Neave has been in Architecture. He has taught in many schools in England, Europe and the States and in 1999 completed three years as Professor of Architecture at the University of Karlsrube. He has been External Examiner and Member of the RIBA Visiting Board.

Neave has built buildings in England, Italy and the Netherlands, including:

1.Winscombe Street, London (1965) 5 Houses, one of which Neave currently lives in

2. Fleet Road, London (1975) 71 Houses, shop, studio (London Borough of Camden)

3. Alexandra Road, London (1978) 520 apartments, school, community centre, youth club, public park, etc (London Borough of Camden). This was the newest, biggest ever building, and the first ever public housing scheme to be listed Grade 11

4. The Zwolestraat Development, Schreviningen, The Hague, The Netherlands, with David Porter 500 apartments, hotel, school hostel, landscape etc. including the largest underground car park (2500 cars) in the Netherlands.

5. 'Smalle Haven'. Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2002) Central urban development terraced apartments including live/work units, shopping and office space etc. Completed at the end of Neaves 1st year on the Degree course at City and Guilds.

Neave has also designed exhibitions, some for the Arts Council and the Tate Gallery including:

Leger and Purism, Tate Gallery (1970)
Robyn Denny Retrospective, Tate Gallery (1975)
ThirtiesÂ’ British Art and Design, Haward Gallery (1978)
Anthony Hill Retrospective, Hayward Gallery (1988)
Le Corbusier, Architect of the Century, Hayward Gallery (1988)




Website: The General Idea

Alexandra Road, NW8
Winscombe Street, N19