David Lowe Italian landscapes

Art & Antiques
December 1998

by Andrew Long

. . . Another New York City painter, David Lowe, makes only one reference to movies in his work, but it's a doozy: "Once Upon a Time in the West" is the title of his ongoing series of paintings, which now numbers more than 150 canvases; it's borrowed from the 1969 spaghetti-Western epic by the Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone. Since Lowe's work is all about the light and shadow and spirit of the Italian landscape, the reference is rather oblique. "I like the fact that [Leone] was an Italian doing an American Western." Lowe says. "In somewhat the reverse, I am an American doing the Italian landscape. I like being an outsider or foreigner to a tradition." While Lowe may be an outsider, his mysterious, unpeopled views (#155, at top, for example) of stone barns and towers, plowed fields, and run-down outbuildings make it clear that he is no stranger to the wealth of Italian art history—from the realistic spaces of Masaccio, to the heavily shadowed, metaphysical spaces of De Chirico. "In some way, I feel my work is about the death of the idealized humanistic landscape," Lowe says. New works are at Solomon Projects, in Atlanta, from December 4 through January 9. . . .

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