Modern Ancient Brown logo by The Crimson Fox

McArthur Binion (b. 1946) has maintained an engaging and historic artistic practice that spans over forty years. Sourcing narratives of an African American experience in rural America and his presence in the white-dominated heyday of American Modernism in New York City, Binion has developed a unique style of action painting which places personal memory in dialogue with visual elements of Modernism.


Binion combines collage, drawing, and painting to create autobiographical abstractions of painted minimalist patterns over an “under conscious” of personal documents and photographs. From photocopies of his birth certificate and pages from his address book to pictures from his childhood and found photographs of lynchings, the poignant and charged images that constitute the tiled base of his work are concealed and abstracted by grids of oil stick. The complexly layered works, from a distance, appear to be monochromatic minimalist abstractions however; Binion’s works are intensely personal and deeply dedicated to the rigorous process of making a painting.CONTINUE READING >



There is no historical line running

through me. I made myself up!

        - McArthur Binion.  


Established in 2019, the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation, endeavors to support the intersection between the visual and literary arts in the Detroit community. As well as elevating the city as a hub and resource for the artistic exploration of contemporary artists.


In 2020, the Foundation launched the Modern Ancient Brown Artist Residency, a one-month literary residency, located in McArthur Binion’s Detroit studio; a renovated church rectory designed in the mid-century modern style, made popular by Michigan’s art and architecture community. The residency program will make invitations to a diverse group of emerging artists, who traditionally create in visual mediums; and in conjunction with a $10,000 grant, encourage them to take the time and space to explore and tell their own stories. LEARN MORE >

The Modern Ancient Brown Foundation's inaugural MAB ‘Pay-It-Forward’ Artist Campaign, in contemplation of the Foundation’s mission; was created to support the intersection of the literary and⁠ visual arts, we know that for us those connections begin here in Detroit.


Heavily influenced by McArthur’s personal experiences, and journey as an artist, it is important to us to build an organization that not only supports the work of black, indigenous and artists of color — but also empowers them to tell their own stories.⁠


The Foundation’s board of directors has selected 5 artists to award a $1500, unrestricted micro grant, and the ability to “pay it forward” by granting an additional $1500 to another member of the Detroit arts community. ⁠MEET THE ARTISTS >


Curated by artist McArthur Binion, Executive Director, Nia Batts and the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation, The Modern Ancient Brown Collection is a contemporary collection of the interdisciplinary work of diverse, emerging artists, and established artists; whose work has been historically underrepresented.


Gordon Parks.jpeg

Untitled, London England, 1966

Gordon Parks

edition 5 of 10


September 10 - October 31, 2020

Gray Warehouse / Chicago

June 24, 2020

First Look | McArthur Binion Healing:Work

Lehmann Maupin / New York

October 1, 2019 - November 16, 2019

McArthur Binion White:Work

Massimodecarlo / London

June 20, 2019 - August 16, 2019

cart, horse, cart

Lehmann Maupin / New York

May 24, 2019 - July 13, 2019


Lehmann Maupin / Seoul

May 22, 2019 - July 5, 2019


Lehmann Maupin / Hong Kong

January 17, 2019 - May 2, 2019


Lehmann Maupin / New York

November 17, 2018 - March 10, 2018

Binion/Saarinen: A McArthur Binion Project

Cranbrook Art Museum / Bloomfield Hills

May 13, 2017 - November 26, 2017

Viva Arte Viva

57th Venice Biennale / Venice