Rackstraw Downes: a painter

Rima Yamazaki

2014 | 00:39:34 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Interviews, On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Artist Spaces, Documentary, Landscape, Painting, Visual Art

Since the early 1970s, Rackstraw Downes has committed himself to painting from observation, on site, from start to finish. He has painted both urban and rural landscapes, as well as interior spaces, in New York, Texas, and Maine. Although he paints exactly what he sees, through his labor ordinary sites become transformed into extraordinary scenes. 

In 2014, Downes spent the summer painting a highway underpass site located in the northern part of Manhattan. This observational film captures the painter working on location, and follows him to his studio to discuss his life and his process.

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