Rackstraw Downes: onsite paintings, 1972-2008

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Parrish Art Museum, Jun 16, 2010 - Art - 112 pages
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- A major survey of the work of this important contemporary artist from his first works to his most recent paintings - Publication accompanies an exhibition at Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, June 20 - August 8, 2010; Portland Museum of Art, Maine, December 16, 2010 - March 20, 2011; Weatherspoon Art Museum of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, May 28, 2011 - August 21, 2011 - Features a wide-ranging interview between the artist and Terrie Sultan, director of Parrish Art Museum Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Paintings, 1972-2008 is an important overview of the work and methods of this British-born 'realist' panoramic painter (b. 1939) who was given the MacArthur Fellowship genius award in 2009. Though primarily based in New York City, Downes has travelled widely and has created a significant number of landscape paintings on site including the harbour of Portland, Maine, and the Donald Judd structures in Marfa, Texas. Downes's panoramic paintings, which he developed by studying seventeenth-century Dutch panoramic landscape painting possess a unique balance between realism and abstraction, timelessness and history. Painted from observation, they are not snapshots of a scene recreated in the studio; rather, they are chronicles of the human experience- records of social history as it evolves.

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Rackstraw Downes

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"Just the facts," a phrase much invoked in discussions of Downes' work, is elevated to an aesthetic practice by these three essays and more than 100 plates. Typically producing realistic landscapes ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

\Klaus Ottmann is Robert Lehman Curator at Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, and an independent curator and scholar. He is the author of, most recently, Yves Klein: Works, Writings, Interviews (2010) and Thought Through My Eyes: Writings on Art, 1977-2005 (2006). Sarah Rothenberg is an internationally acclaimed solo and chamber pianist and has served as artistic director of Da Camera, Houston since 1994. She is a frequent performer on Lincoln Center's Great Performers series in New York. Terrie Sultan is Director of Parrish Art Museum. She was director and chief curator of Blaffer Gallery from 2000-8, and curator of contemporary at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from 1988-2000.