Artist Statement

I was born in New York City a first generation Italian-American. My mother was a devout Catholic, my father a closet atheist. At thirteen I realized I would never look like my Barbie doll, so I threw her away and decided to be an artist.

Growing up Catholic and being female in our culture is a defining part of who I am as an artist. Over the years, my art has evolved around the question of how a woman artist can paint the female figure. More simply, how do I approach such a loaded subject?

My interest lies in the myths of religion, politics and culture and its impact on a woman?s ability to live freely, think and investigate meaning.

I have a particular interest in exploring a women?s struggle, as well as celebrating her strengths.

In the past, my work explored these subjects with color and design influenced by the proto, early and Renaissance painters of Italy, especially Giotto and Piero della Francesca. Of late I have become interested in the challenge of working from perception and the life model.

And so, I am still searching for a way to explore the tensions between the ideal world of the picture plane and the three dimensional physical world all the while painting the female figure to understand her, to reinterpret and re-present her.


2008-09 Studies Laguna College of Art and Design, CA
2002 Studies Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
1993 Studies School of Visual Arts, New York City
1992 Studies Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
1978 MFA University of Houston, TX
1975 BA Queens College, City University of New York
1973 Studies Sarah Lawrence College, Lacoste, France


Ada Pullini Brown is a painter and educator. Brown was born in New York City where she began her art education at the High School of Art and Design and later earned her BA in Studio Art, at Queens College of the City University of New York. She attended the Sarah Lawrence College School of the Arts summer program in Lacoste, France and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree as a Teaching Fellow at University of Houston. She has attended post-graduate courses in Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism at the School of Visual Arts, the Whitney Museum in New York City, Art Center College of Design and the Laguna College of Art and Design.

Brown has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, has worked at Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop in New York City and at the East Los Angeles printmaking atelier, Self-Help Graphics, where she was invited to participate in three ateliers. Her work has been exhibited at the Los Angles County Museum Sales and Rental Gallery, the Riverside Art Museum, Rancho Santiago College, the Venice Art Walk, California State University, I-5 Gallery, Gallery Otra Vez, Avenue 50 Studio and the Sabina Lee Gallery. Her work is held in collections in the United States, South Africa, Mexico, Italy, Germany and Japan.

Brown is an Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at Rio Hondo College and the Director of ArTravel Workshops, a travel and painting program of the Brentwood Art Center. She has served on the Executive Board of the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art as both Treasurer and President.

Contact Email