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Rackstraw Downes: a painter

Rackstraw Downes, Rima Yamasaki, Harry Cooper. English-born artist Rackstraw Downes (b. 1939) paints urban environments with dazzling precision. “His subjects range from the roadways, urban detritus, and industrial backyards of the East Coast to the oil fields and empty terrain of Texas. In painting the American landscape as it is—not as it’s been idealized—Downes imbues ordinary subjects with extraordinary power”—MacArthur Foundation. The recent documentary on the artist by Rima Yamazaki, Rackstraw Downes: A Painter, had its Washington premiered at the National Gallery of Art on May 21, 2016. After the screening, both Rackstraw Downes and Rima Yamazaki discussed the film and Downes’ work with curator Harry Cooper.