LEONARDO’S BRAIN by Leonard Shlain



It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the posthumous publishing of my father, Leonard Shlain’s last book, Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius which he completed shortly before he passed five years ago.

The book is available online and in bookstores now. My siblings and I are hosting events to celebrate the book’s release in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco this fall.

Many of you already know about Leonard Shlain’s previous books, Art & Physics,The Alphabet vs The Goddess and Sex, Time and Power, or were lucky enough to attend one of his presentations. Otherwise you may have learned about him by my Technicolor Summer Exhibition, the articles I have published about our vigil or the flowers or when I dedicated the founding of the Science and Art Meets Science sections to him.

Leonardo’s Brain is not only one of his grand intellectual journeys akin to his previous books, but also has a particularly special meaning as synthesizes of so many of his ideas connecting neurology, history, philosophy, art, science and ourselves, holding Da Vinci as a harbinger of how our species could evolve.

We have so many people to thank — from our publisher John Sternfeld at Lyon’s Press (now Globe Pequot), Robert Stricker, his long time literary agent and particularly Andy Ross, the literary agent for Leonardo’s Brain who seized the opportunity to bring this book to market with zeal our father would have loved.  We also want to thank Ann Patty, (The Life of Pi) who helped us edit the final manuscript. The act of conversing with his ideas in our minds as we navigated the different stages of the editing and publication process was one of the greatest gifts of all.


“Technicolor Summer” selected cover of “This One is Mine”

Los Angeles, CA — One of the paintings from Venice-based painter Kimberly Brooks’ recent solo show, “Technicolor Summer”,  was selected to be on the cover of “This One is Mine” a new book by Maria Semple published by Little Brown.  The painting is entitled “Mulholland Drive” and features a woman sheilding herself from the blinding sun.  The book, similar to the painting, is about the journey of a who lives on Mulholland Drive.   Described by critics as “A Modern Day Anna Kareninina”, the book has numerous rave reviews from The LA Times. Novelist Maria Semple previously wrote for Mad About You and Arrested Development.  The book is available on Amazon at bookstores nationwide.

Technicolor Summer Solo Show, Los Angeles


K I M B E R L Y   B R O O K S
“Technicolor Summer”

May 10th – June 14th, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday May 10th, 2008, 6-9pm

Taylor De Cordoba is pleased to present Technicolor Summer, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibition will run from May 10 – June 14. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday May 10th from 6pm-9pm. This is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery.

In her new series of oil paintings, Brooks explores the relationship between human and nature. Using the sweeping California landscape as a backdrop, from the forests of Yosemite to the bewildering expanse of the Pacific Ocean, she introduces characters that are unified by the mutual awe for their surroundings. Based on her personal experience, Brooks focuses on a family grappling with illness, where the prospect of death renders every moment vivid, and each meal and sunset matters. The scenes are from a summer experienced in high definition; where every leaf on a tree becomes visible simultaneously, and life is lived in Technicolor.

Taylor De Cordoba is located at 2660 S La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles, CA and is open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am-5:30pm. For additional information, contact Heather Taylor at heather@taylordecordoba.com or (310) 559-9156.

Kim Biel: Technicolor Summer

The paintings in “Technicolor Summer,” Kimberly Brooks’ latest solo show at Taylor de Cordoba, are shot through with vibrant bolts of color: jade, ultramarine and magenta course through the highlights and support the shadows in these paintings that feel like pages from a family album. Drawing again on the snapshot aesthetic that was central to the work in her last show, “Mom’s Friends,” Brooks’ new paintings invite the viewer to dive even further into the emotional experience of browsing through family photographs.

Brooks explains that at the beginning of last summer a member of her family was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She recalls, “Immediately the world stopped. Every moment I was thinking, ‘This could be our last meal together or the last time we have this conversation.’ I started to feel like all the colors became much brighter; it was like living life in high definition. It was one of the more profound emotional experiences of my life.”
The new paintings reflect the emotional tension of this experience as they describe a feeling of muted nostalgia pricked by high-energy details. Though she works from photographs, Brooks rejects the label of photorealist. She says, “I didn’t want these paintings to be about the people; I wanted them to be about the feelings that the people were having. So I distort things in the original photograph and that opens up the field of narrative for the viewer.”

An undulating river of deep bottle green dominates Yosemite River I, while two children playing in the water serve as the tiny keys to unlock the experience of being in this sublime landscape. Brooks adeptly alternates the point of view of these paintings, moving in for a close-up, taking a candid portrait, or looking skyward through a canopy of redwoods as inYosemite Walk II.

Walking through her studio a week before the opening of her show, the feeling was not unlike compiling a selection of tracks for a record. There are strong correspondences between all the paintings in the Technicolor series. The work is not just a collection of greatest hits; the individual images build on each other to create a larger narrative. Brooks says, “I do feel like I’m putting out an album and I have 12-14 songs here that have to work together. But it also allows me the freedom to write a ballad in one piece and use really heavy bass on another.”

Brooks writes a weekly column, “First Person Artist,” for Ariana Huffington’s online newspaper, The Huffington Post. Brooks recalls, “At first Ariana asked me to write about my artwork…every week! And I thought, ‘That’s insane, I can’t do that!’ But it was irresistible for me to have that kind of an audience.” Brooks still occasionally writes about her own work or about her creative process, but the project is largely dedicated to showcasing the work of other artists, in their own words. Since the column began in September, Brooks has interviewed over a hundred artists.
This public persona is something of a new phenomenon for Brooks, who remembers, “I painted in silence, not exhibiting for many years. When I first put up a website with my work on it, it was password protected and I would dole out the password like little crumbs. When I took off the password protection I literally crawled under my desk, like something was going to happen! I felt like I busted out of myself, like I had to stop hiding.” Now that she’s stopped hiding, fans of Kimberly Brooks can’t get enough.

“Yosemite River I,” 2008, oil on linen, 30″ x 30″
Photo: Courtesy of Taylor de Cordoba Gallery

Kimberly Brooks’ new show, “Technicolor Summer,” could be seen May 10 – June 14, 2008 at Taylor de Cordoba, 2660 S. La Cienega Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034 (310) 559-9156 www.taylordecordoba.com