William Downs: Installation View, 2019. Image courtesy of Chimento Contemporary.

William Downs: Installation View, 2019. Image courtesy of Chimento Contemporary.


 William Downs, A soft place to lay
February 23 - March 30, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 23, 5 - 8 p.m.

E.C. LINÁ (Chimento Contemporary) gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition with 2018 Artadia Atlanta award recipient, William Downs.

A soft place to lay will explore repetition. Downs will present a large-scale site-specific wall drawing and a grouping of related framed drawings.
With a nod to the ephemeral shadows of the Platonic cave, Downs utilizes repetitive contrasts of black paint on white walls. The result is a form of visual “dance” that illuminates subtle revelations on desire, time, silence, and movement.  Elemental self-mimicry, a dizzying vine-work, and genderless sensuality are some of the steps in Downs' dance. 

In Downs’ own words: “Artists like Francesco Clemente and Marlene Dumas keep the viewer on that teetering line, and that’s the place that I draw from. You get the beginning or the aftermath, and that’s enough. I want people to think about their desire.” Drawing inspiration from the figure studies of Paul Cézanne, as well as Downs’ experience in a sweat lodge during a residency at the Takoja institute in New Mexico, the work aims to illuminate the process of desire without closure.  

William Downs earned a multidisciplinary M.F.A from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Prior to that, he received a B.F.A in painting and printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art and Design. In addition to his representation by Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, he was chosen by Artadia as their 2018 Atlanta awardee. Downs has had solo exhibitions nationally at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, Parker Jones Gallery in Los Angeles, and Slag Gallery in New York, NY. His work was exhibited in the “Art AIDS America” exhibition curated by Rock Hushka and Johnathan Katz. His work was also recently shown in the Black Pulp! group exhibition which toured to The Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, and the The African American Museum in Philadelphia.