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William Downs: Drawings of Wildness and Silence…

Sep 5, 2020 - Nov 7, 2020
12pm - 4pm

2019/2021 Working Artist Project

This round of Working Artist Projects was curated by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.

About Drawings of Wildness and Silence…

“Have you ever found yourself delightfully immersed in your own thoughts? I cannot count how many times during the day I get lost in my own magic viewfinder of memory reels. Every image I stumble upon morphs in my mind, leading me to generate a new set of snapshots. I often try to retrace my musings back to my original idea, only to wander into yet another series of pictures. It may appear to be a never- ending maze of random elements, but therein lies the ambiguity of my work. I believe that what you cannot see is far more interesting than what you can. This ink wash wall drawing address the anthropological relationship of the body to its environment, and the manipulation of its surroundings to either conform or clash to the figure inhabiting the space. It affects not just the space above and around, but also the mental and emotional space. My aim is to awaken repressed feelings of anxiety, fear, joy, angst, or lust, by drawing them into the world on paper or on walls.”

-William Downs

About William Downs

William Downs, born in Greenville, South Carolina, creates and resides in Atlanta, GA. He earned his multidisciplinary MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art and Design. He continues his educational practice as a visiting guest lecturer and adjunct professor.

Downs has shown in a sundry of group and solo exhibitions at venues across the United States and abroad including: E.C. Lina Gallery, LA, Contemporary Art Museum, MS, and the Century Gallery in London. In 2018, he received the Artadia Award and a Nellie Mae Rowe Fellowship at the Hambidge Creative Residency Center Program. Downs’ work featured in the Art AIDS America exhibition which toured nationally for a year headed by Rock Hushka and Johnathan Katz. Following, his work was chosen for the prolific Black Pulp! exhibition piloted by the International Print Center New York. This exhibit also showed at The Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Downs work is included in numerous permanent collections including the Peggy Cooper Cafritz Collection, Portman Collection, Schrager Collection and both the Birmingham Museum of Art & the High Museum of Art. He’s featured in various publications such as Black PulpArtforumSculpture Magazine, and Grizzly Grizzly’s 10 Years – 10 Essays – 10 Exhibits.

Featured image: William Downs,  detail from  A Soft Place to Lay, Ink wash and Spray Paint on Drywall, detail from 15′ x 45′ wall drawing at EC Lina Gallery, LA. Photography by Karley Sullivan

Take a peek at the installation process!

Artist Talk, Tuesday, October 27, 2020 (video presentation shared via zoom with questions/answer segmant)

Photography by Fredrik Brauer