Roy Dowell: Manchas Profundas
5118 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Saturday, March 30 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends May 6, 2024
the Landing is pleased to present Manchas Profundas, our second solo exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Roy Dowell. A series of new paintings develops Dowell’s interest in the interzone between abstraction and realism, geometry and formlessness, meditation and spontaneity. The show will be on view from Saturday March 30 to Saturday May 4. The paintings in Manchas Profundas conjoin visual compositions of the everyday with autonomous abstraction. Grids, rondures, star-like forms, and curving lines multiply serenely across the exhibition. In turns, they evoke elegantly churning gears, patterns found on city streets, antique textiles, and abstracted flora. Rendered in earthen hues ranging from burnt sienna, pewter, and forest green to irradiant yellow, the works are dually located in the external world and in the imagined world of the painting. Manchas Profundas translates to “deep stains,” a visual and material quality that describes the making of Dowell’s work as well as its aesthetic impact. Employing numerous layers of thinned flashe, Dowell’s paintings have a smooth, velvety – almost dusty – texture. The resulting surfaces are richly saturated, evoking a sense of age and history. Furthermore, the paintings induce a strong meditative resonance that feels like a deep stain on the psyche. Dowell, who worked in collage for many years, carries the medium’s spirit of synthesis into his new paintings. Direct – almost realist – quotations of objects from the tangible world infuse Dowell’s own visual language. His eye is much like a sieve, distilling the essence of visually complex materials around him, from sources including Jane manuscripts, anonymous Tantric art, Mesoamerican ceramics, Modern painting, and advertisements. These observed materials remix and recombine as he conceives of his compositions. Dowell's background in collage informs the visual structure of the works as well. Within each painting, discrete forms float side by side, suggesting the fragmented nature of collage. In moments of overlay or superimposition, one form is visible beneath a quasi-translucent exterior form, but their boundaries remain intact. What results is a kind of steadfast internal logic of each painting, a systematic and balanced sum of its parts. The products of slow, careful looking, Dowell’s paintings likewise unfold for the viewer over time. Most compositions gravitate around a central node, a geometric form acting as a nucleus and drawing viewers into contemplative exploration. The paintings tend toward symmetry as they radiate outward from the center. With sustained looking, however, an unsteadiness comes to characterize the forms, an assertion of the artist’s hand that evokes a tactile connection with the work’s creation process. Some paintings even contain moments of spontaneous, gestural abstraction. Dowell deftly uses such modulations in form and line to guide the viewer across each painting, allowing the paintings to reveal themselves slowly and surely. Roy Dowell (b. 1951 in Bronxville, NY; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and Mexico City, MX) received his MFA and BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA;, Los Angeles, CA; 1969 Gallery, New York, NY; Tif Sigfrids Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Proxy Paris @Galerie Ygrec, Paris, France; and James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA. Group exhibitions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; Centro Cultural del México Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain, Nice, France; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, and elsewhere. Dowell’s work is represented in global collections, including Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, among others.