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Rackstraw Downes

British, b. 1939

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Rackstraw Downes

British, b. 1939

314
Followers
Biography

Without the aid of a computer or camera, Rackstraw Downes sets up his easel in overlooked places from cities to deserts and paints as far as he can with gem-like detail. Considered a master of the contemporary American landscape, Downes has painted subway underpasses, barbed wire fences, corrugated metal farm buildings, and landfills. He is fascinated by what he feels is the “magic” of these places and, as he explains, the “incredible adaptation on the part of the wildlife” to the manmade. His often published essay Turning the Head in Empirical Space discusses the comprehensive view that is the subject of his painting. Downes was a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Without the aid of a computer or camera, Rackstraw Downes sets up his easel in overlooked places from cities to deserts and paints as far as he can with gem-like detail. Considered a master of the contemporary American landscape, Downes has painted subway underpasses, barbed wire fences, corrugated metal farm buildings, and landfills. He is fascinated by what he feels is the “magic” of these places and, as he explains, the “incredible adaptation on the part of the wildlife” to the manmade. His often published essay Turning the Head in Empirical Space discusses the comprehensive view that is the subject of his painting. Downes was a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Articles Featuring Rackstraw Downes
John Elderfield’s Artist to Watch in 2014: Rackstraw Downes
Dec 19th, 2013
John Elderfield’s Artist to Watch in 2014: Rackstraw Downes
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