Pictured left: Les Portes de la Vie/The Doors of Life (detail), ca. 1992-1992
Pictured right: L'Eveil/The Awakening (detail), 1974
Selections from the museum's collection as well as private collections will give visitors a glimpse into the celebrated career of Joseph Dudley Downing (1925-2007), an artist from Horse Cave, Kentucky who spent the majority of his career working in France. This exhibition represents a lifetime of creative work by Downing; a visual journey spanning from his early years in Horse Cave, Kentucky to his international recognition as an contemporary visual artist. Visitors will learn about the life of Joe Downing as well as the history of the Downing Museum and Baker Arboretum.
This is a permanent exhibit open year-round.
Be sure to check out the Joe Downing section in Instruments of American Excellence at the Kentucky Museum. Click HERE for more information.
Pictured: Germination 008, 2014
Influenced by the waste of our culture, I consider myself a scavenger. In my work, obsessive systems are used to re-contextualize remnants into formal curiosities.The Germination series uses repetition and movement to create a dynamic form. The organic like constructions encourage introspection of the outwardly obsessive systems that are a part of natural growth and the mechanical systems of our accustomed reality. These elegant forms nurture meditation. Beginnings and ends, entangled paths, gestures of sharp and subtle movement throughout the configurations cultivate rumination of the nature of existence.
I search for meaning and understanding from the elements and systems around me. Referencing biological and botanical forms, and chemical and automated systems my work captures the inquisitive interests and reverence that has driven me since childhood. The product of these impartial and silent objects exploit notions of industrial mass production, the abstract, subtle innuendos, cellular growth, and organic propagation to allow the viewer to detect their resemblances.
Pictured: Propagation (detail), 2018
My work process alternates between traditional two-dimensional prints and large, immersive printmaking installations. I am most engaged and interested in my work when I am working on a large installation. I see printmaking as an excellent way to generate materials that I install and develop in a gallery space. I often feel claustrophobic and too constrained when working on a flat piece of paper but, when I am given a space, my work grows and takes on a life of its own. I have been working this was since I was a graduate student. My installations are highly labor intensive, Propagation, took three years to complete.
Contradictions in nature and biology fascinate me. Cells are of particular interest. I am intrigued by their ability to reproduce, mutate and spread uncontrollably. To the untrained eye, cancer cells can be seen as beautiful forms/shapes, interesting patterns. However, to a specialist these forms mean so much more including the spread of unwanted disease and death. I find it interesting how something so detrimental as cancer, can look so beautiful under a microscope.
I am also interested in invasive plants such as kudzu. I am intrigued by how it spreads and grows uncontrollably. This plant, like cancer, has the illusion of being beautiful and lush, while it is actually suffocating everything in its path.
These types of uncontrolled growths inspire my installation work. I want my installations to feel invasive. To feel like they are encroaching on the viewers’ space. I want them to feel like they are invasive.
Emily Hendricksen: A Reflective Collection (2014-2018), Jan 30 - Feb 24, 2017
25th Annual Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition, Nov 19, 2017 - Jan 20, 2018
Art of the Macabre, Oct 1 - 31, 2017
Print Mafia Retrospective, Sep 2 - Oct 21, 2017
Kim Jones: Grid Series, July 18 - Aug 19, 2017