Thomas Downing: Paintings

June 23 – September 7, 2021

Mignoni is pleased to present Thomas Downing: Paintings. Downing was one of the most preeminent artists of the Washington Color Field Movement, along with Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Howard Mehring (with whom he shared a studio), and Sam Gilliam, among others. He is known for his use of dots, a motif that he employed in his work throughout the 1960s and 70s in different series, such as the Rings and Dials (Untitled, c. 1964 below). As with other members of the Washington Color Field School, Downing’s painting technique consisted of letting the paint be absorbed by the by unprimed canvas, as, in his own words, “There is no better way to get full benefit of the resonating depth of a color than by saturating a piece of cloth with it. Any color which is soaked into fabric will be much more luminous than if it is painted on top of the fabric.” He also worked with shaped canvases (Untitled, 1959 is included in the exhibition) earlier in his career and again in the 1970s, in which he kept exploring with color, this time fully painting the canvas to the edge, giving the impression of an expanding, open space.