John Yau reviews Rackstraw Downes: Paintings and Drawings at Betty Cunningham Gallery, New York, on view through October 14, 2018.
Yau writes: "In 'Outdoor Passageway at 15 Rivington,' Downes recognizes infinite time (the sky above), seasonal time (the air conditioning units), and historical time (the dirty walls), as well as time passing (the passageway). Despite all the physical evidence that there is nothing more than disposable matter, he does something that only paint can do. He registers matter and light and color and air, however drab their outward appearance. His fidelity to seeing becomes a quietly joyful testimony to his faith in art, and that it (and presumably us) will continue into the future, despite all the evidence to the contrary."