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The New York Times Carl Sommers March 30, 1997"…his paintings are often made up of multiple panels, an allusion to the way natural dynamics affect image making: in aerial photographs, and his works from them, the movement of the Earth puts the frames a bit out of synch with one another, creating a mosaic effect."Thelma Golden, Associate Curator and Branch Director of The Whitney Museum at Philip MorrisInternational Juried Show 1996,New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Best of Show, Curator's Statement:Meadowlands by Spelman Evans Downer"I feel it is a very interesting take on the landscape tradition, an artist looking at landscape in the industrial environment and finding a way to relate that pictorially. I was also interested in how he combined topography and mapmaking with the painting tradition: how the work, when looked at close up, really begins to show his interest in abstract painting technique; where as moving far away from it, you see his interest in topographical photography..it's a real combination...an artist working with a lot of influences in a very interesting way."The New York Times, William Zimmer June 11, 1995"The two "Hudson River Portraits" by Spelman Evans Downer are absolute abstractions of abutted panels painted thickly to resemble topographical maps through which the river runs, like a splash painting by Clyfford Still."The New York Times, Roberta Smith June 9, 1995"A show that will grow on you: small, folkish paintings that are wonderfully wrought, surprisingly accurate maps of Manhattan-its grids, parks and neighborhoods, and adjacent boroughs, in various colors and points in history."Art in America, Matthew Milford December 1996"In areas where the relationship between nature and civilization is not too lopsided, Downer's work achieves a kind of utopian lyricism."Art Market Guide 1997, Contemporary American Art, Richard Polsky"Spelman Evans Downer makes art that draws inspiration from aerial landscape photographs. Downer's work is also informed by the 'Earthworks' artists (Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, and James Turrell). These artists altered the land as a form of sculpture that couldn't be experienced within the four walls of a gallery or museum. But their two-dimensional works served more as diagrams rather than works of art in their own right. Downer could put together an interesting career by doing the opposite; making two-dimensional works that are significant."Gannett Suburban Newspapers, Georgette Gouveia February 26, 1995"Downer's landscapes combine the qualities of topographical maps with those of abstract paintings."Review Art, Frederick Ted Castle June 1996"Spelman Evans Downer tries - and succeeds!-to include everything in his painting of a place. He's not just acknowledging that people have moved the earth around, the way geologically young rivers do all the time, changing course on the flood plain, creating lakes and new deserts. He is really staking our claim (not only his own) as collaborators on the earth's creation."
Contact information: 760-401-9018
Spelman Evans Downer
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