Rackstraw Downes, Water-Flow Monitoring Station on the Rio Grande Near Presidio, TX, Part 1) Facing South, The Guage Shelter, 1:30PM, 2002-03, Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 42 inches (courtesy Betty Cuningham Gallery)
Frank Hobbs transcribes excerpts from a newly posted video on the painter Rackstraw Downes.
Hobbs quotes Downes: "When I… started painting from observation, one of the reasons was that I didn’t want to be so damn self-conscious about my paintings… Why not just look at something and paint it the way it is? Plop! And that’s what I did... People often say to me, why do you pick such banal subjects, and I don’t understand that at all. They don’t seem to me to be banal in the least. They’re full of magic."
Harry Swartz-Turfle writes about the unique dedication to looking at the core of Rackstraw Downes' painting practice: "... when you think about how much of modern and contemporary art relies on juxtaposition or exaggeration for effects, Downes' approach begins to seem downright revolutionary."
Swartz-Turfle also notes that "[Downes] wanted the discipline of reality's variation instead of the suppositions that come with ideas about reality. It's a kind of meta-conceptualism that makes Rackstraw Downes a postmodern plein air painter."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.