Back to All Events

William Downs - Standing on the Verge of…

  • Grizzly Grizzly 319 North 11th Street \ Floor 2 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107 (map)

On view through January 27, Grizzly Grizzly exhibits the first solo show in Philadelphia of Atlanta-based artist William Downs. Downs’ immersive ink wall drawing depicts a hallucinatory parade of figures mingling with spirits in a desert backdrop. The title, "Standing on the Verge of…," references the liminal space in which much of his imagery resides: it is a celebration that is both revelatory and melancholy, sensual and repulsive.

Downs situates his work in the lineage of Western figurative painting. There are clear nods to the cannon: the chaotic and sensual bacchanal of Hieronymus Bosch, the implied movement of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, and the masterful mark-making and sensuality of Picasso’s Vollard Suite. Yet, there is an equally rich store of unexpected influences, from the lyrics of Merle Haggard, to personal experiences in a sweat lodge during a residency at the Takoja Institute in New Mexico. His references evoke a scene that is both timely in its embrace of confusion and chaos, and timeless in its dream-like reverie.

The artist will be in attendance at the Second Friday reception, from 6-10 on January 11, 2019.

Earlier Event: January 11
January "First Friday"
Later Event: January 11
Black Trans Futuristic