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David Downs

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St. Louis

Birth year

Lives in

Works in
Chicago, New York


exhibition/performance, conceptual, abstract, figurative, photography, traditional, landscape, neo-expressionism mixed-media mixed-media, publication installation, arts-education, compliant, neo-nostalgic, mixed-media, realism

Upcoming Exhibitions and Events
Oct, 2016 The Suffragette Social
Spudnik Press Cooperative

My work is a language that cannot always be expressed in words. It currently takes the form of abstract color fields sometimes juxtaposed with photographic imagery. The paintintgs tell a story of the subconscious. They map out memories and attempt to make sense of thoughts and feelings though automatic mark making. 


David Downs is a self-taught painter living and working in Chicago, Illinois. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri but mostly raised by his grandparents in a small town called High Ridge. There wasn't much to the town at the time besides gas stations, gravel roads, and the forest where David spent most of his time with friends building tree houses, exploring, and fighting rivals for territorial rights.

Throughout his career, David has acted as a facilitator of community amongst other artists. In 2010 he created a small publishing company called Sprocketbox Entertainment to publish curated art books. He has since published work by over 50 different artists. For two years, while living in New York City, David organized solo and group exhibitions in pop-up and alternative locations. 


Solo/Two Person Shows

2016 "Color and Light" Flatiron Arts Building, Chicago, IL

2015 "Abstracts" Mercantile M, Chicago, IL

2011 "Xacbe: Traces of the Light Beyond" Mink & Arce Gallery, Chicago, IL

2006 "Age and Decay" The Lucky Cat, New York, NY

2005 "Emily Rosen and David Downs" Dick Blick Gallery, New York, NY

Select Group Shows

2016 "Suffragette Social" Spudnik Press, Chicago, IL

2016 “Conceptualize/Realize” Marwen Institute, Chicago, IL 

2015 Marwen Institute Fundraiser, Chicago, IL 

2014 "(re)claim" Semeiotic Gallery, Chicago, IL

2014 Marwen Institute Fundraiser, Chicago, IL

2011 "Artifice & Ambiguity" Mink & Arce Gallery, Chicago, IL

2010 "New American Landscape" Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL

2010 "The Evidence Against Us" Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL

2009 "die Zeit of Drawing" Climate/Gallery, New York, NY

2009 "New Works" Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL

2009 "Deck Deck Deck" APW Gallery, New York, NY

2009 "Amnetic State" 7013 Studio, Chicago, IL

2009 "New Photographs" Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL

2008 "2nd Annual Square Foot Show" The Galaxie!, Chicago, IL

2005 “Subversive Means” Dick Blick Gallery, New York, NY

Published Works and Printed Exhibitions:

2015 Polonium No2: NONobject (Sprocketbox Entertainment/Polonium Gallery)

2014 Polonium No1: Sentiment (Sprocketbox Entertainment/Polonium Gallery)

2012 Figure Face Identity (Sprocketbox Entertainment)

2011 International Dictionary of Artists (World Wide Books)

2010 David Paul Downs, Recent Works (Sprocketbox Entertainment)

2010 New American Landscape (Sprocketbox Entertainment)

2010 die Zeit of Drawing (Climate/Gallery)


2010 CAAP Grant


Works held in private collections in France, New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, and San Francisco

Teaching and Demonstrations:

2014-2015 Teaching Artist at Marwen Institute

2007-2014 Teacher for Extended Day Program at Francis Xavier Warde School

2012-2014 Arts Instructor at Piccolo Theater Arts Camp

2007-2011 Arts Instructor for YAP at Noyes Cultural Arts Center

2008 Arts Instructor at The Galaxie!

2007 Demonstrator for the Chicago Botanic Garden Fairchild Challenge



Recent Exhibits

David Downs participated in these exhibits:

Oct, 2015 Andersonville Art Walk
Mercantile M
Oct, 2011 Xacbe: Traces of the Light Beyond
Mink & Arce Gallery
Oct, 2011 Xacbe: Traces of the Light Beyond
MInk and Arce Gallery
Sep, 2011 Artifice and Ambiguity
Mink & Arce Gallery
May, 2010 New American Landscape
Las Manos Gallery
Apr, 2010 The Evidence Against Us
Las Manos Gallery
Click here to see all exhibits for David Downs

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