John Haber reviews an exhibition of paintings by Rackstraw Downes at Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, on view through May 3, 2014.
Haber compares Downes' fisheye perspective to T. S. Eliot's "still point in a turning world.” Haber continues: "When an artist takes his time, every exhibition can aim for a rediscovery, even if he has never really left... Downes can sustain the tension between specificity and transience... What he does have is the view, as he puts it, 'as far as one can see.' He no doubt enjoys the phrase’s ambiguity between boasting and a modest subjectivity. Both impulses contribute to his preference for panorama over linear perspective. It can arise from successive views, successive versions, or that view approaching to a fisheye."