Artist of the moment…. Modern landscape artist Rackstraw Downes…



this artist is great because he makes the extraordinary art. A junk yard full of tires, it can be a great work of art in this artists’ hands. Also his compositions are many times from a worm’s eye view.

The artist was born in Kent,  England in 1939 and attended Oxford University. Later he moved to U.S. and attended Yale at New Haven, Connecticut.At Yale he studied with master painter Alex Katz whom I have written about before, painter of very large heads on very large canvases.

The artist has won such awards as the genius award, a quarter million dollar paycheck for the winner.The fellowship is called the MacArthur Award.

He paints in oils and watercolors.

From a design standpoint I also love his panoramic paintings.   Its such a wide view that he uses and it makes his works seem larger than the canvas. Not much greyed out area, in fact just the opposite, but the paintings are so wide that the viewer doesn’t feel that the space is crowded. Plenty of room for the eye to move around.

He worked as an art critic before finding himself as a painter.As a critic he worked for publications such as the New York Times and Art in America.

Over the years he was worked at various colleges such as University of Pennsylvania and Parson’s School of Design.

Artist shows at the Betty Cunningham gallery and the link is below. It changes pictures every few seconds but you get the idea of how vast his picture plane is and how he tricks the viewer into seeing multiple wide views merge into one.

Artist is in the Museum of Modern Art Collection.

How about trying to merge your favorite 3 landscapes together in one painting. See the imagination and creativity that is necessary to produce just one work in his style.As I mentioned before he makes junk piles seem extraordinary!

Happy Painting!




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