Born in England, the painter Rackstraw Downes received a B.A. from the University of Cambridge in 1961. He has lived and worked in America since then, taking citizenship in 1980. Downes received a B.F.A. (1963) and M.F.A. (1964) from Yale University. A retrospective of his work, Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Paintings, 1972-2008, was organized by the Parrish Art Museum in 2010. It then traveled to the Portland Museum of Art, ME, and the Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, NC. His work is in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the National Gallery of Art, among others. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Art in America and Art Journal. A monograph with essays by Robert Storr, Sanford Schwartz and Rackstraw Downes was published in 2005 by Princeton University Press. In 2009, he was awarded one of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowships. Downes delivered the Ninth Annual Raymond Lecture for the Archives of American Art in 2009, and in 2011, participated in a Wyeth Foundation for American Art conference at the National Gallery of Art, entitled Landscape in American Art, 1940-2000.
He is represented by Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York.
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