John Brown

John Alexander Brown

1953 - 2020

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Obituary of John Alexander Brown

John (Jack) Brown died on Saturday morning, March 21, 2020. Jack was an artist of international renown, a musician, music lover, and a beloved friend. The diverse circles of people who loved him will miss his generosity, intelligence, joie de vivre, and humour. Jack was born on July 4, 1953 in Sarnia. When he was six the family moved to Sudbury. The industrial landscape and dark humour of the North would shape his sense of humour and his artistic vision. As Jack grew up the call of the city proved irresistible, and he moved to Toronto as a young man. He first studied photography at Humber College before shifting to the Ontario College of Art in 1977. He studied painting at both OCA (today, OCAD) and the University of Guelph, where he received his BfA in 1982. Jack was amongst a group of new young painters that enlivened the Toronto art scene in the 1980’s. His stark early drawings and paintings of working and suffering bodies came to the attention of prominent gallery owner Carmen Lamanna. Brown showed at Lamanna’s gallery until it closed following the owner’s death. Since 1995 Brown ahs been represented by the Olga Korper Gallery. His paintings hang in important private and institutional collections, as well as the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Jack’ paintings will last as a testimony to his talent and genius, but they cannot substitute for the loss his friends and families feel. Jack loved music, literature, cooking, wine, but loved them best in the company of others. Jack was a social creature above all else: a conversationalist, practical joker, and all round bon vivant. Memories cannot replace the man, but they unite all who loved Jack in the light he shone. Jack was predeceased by his father Malcolm “Mac” Brown (1979), his mother Dorothy Brown (1991), his brother-in-law Richard Noonan (1994), his partner Herb Sigman (2015), his eldest sister Karen Berryman (2015), and, tragically, his ex-wife Sandra Carpenter, just one month before his death. Jack is survived by his sister Lynda Easterbrook (brother-in-law Ken Easterbrook), brother Mac Brown (sister-in-law Barb Brown), younger brother Joe Brown (sister-in-law Lisa Coleman-Brown), nephews Jeff Noonan, and Steve Noonan, great nephew Liam Noonan, nieces Lori Nezan, Katie Odell, Heather Odell and Corrie Hamilton, and nephew Mike Berryman, and his partner of five years Edmond Banka. Donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.