De Buck Gallery is delighted to announce the representation of Stephen Towns with an upcoming solo exhibition titled ‘The Night Light Fell from the Sky.’ This will be Towns’ first solo exhibition with the gallery and his first solo in New York. The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, Sept 26th, through Saturday, Oct 26th. An opening reception will be held at the gallery, 507 W 27th Street, New York, on Thursday, Oct 3rd, from 6-8 PM.
Stephen Towns is a painter and a fiber artist working primarily in oil, acrylic, and quilting and exploring how American history influences contemporary society. His work is deeply rooted in the constructs of race and its effects on society and is developed in direct response to issues that have affected African-American culture and community – issues such as loss of ancestral roots, slavery, class, education, skin tone, and religion. Towns' paintings look at the African Diaspora and draw visual inspiration from Medieval altarpieces, impressionist paintings, and wax cloth prints while his on-going quilt series celebrates the aesthetic traditions of African American women and explores America’s history of slavery and labor.
In his upcoming show, 'The Night Light Fell from the Sky,’ Towns finds a reference point in the 1833 Leonid meteor shower and uses this celestial event to explore the collective experience of freedom and revelation by enslaved people at the time. The exhibition is comprised of two series of works, “An Affirmation” and “A Declaration”. “An Affirmation” is a series of mixed-media works incorporating paint, metal leaf and fabric. Each work features a figure wading in water encompassed by the meteor shower. References for figures were borrowed from archival images of American Civil War contraband camps. Each image and title in the Affirmation series draws upon the ability of the individual to develop a powerful sense of self-awareness to declare their freedom. The works in “A Declaration” are a series of quilts revolving around collective thinking. Each quilt features a series of figures observing the meteor shower. The titles and images in each work allude to collective thinking and obstacles a group of people may endure in reaching a goal.
Stephen Towns was born in 1980 in Lincolnville, South Carolina, and received a Bachelor of Fine Art in painting from the University of South Carolina. His work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, York College, Goucher College, as well as group exhibitions at Jack Shainman Gallery: The School, August Wilson Cultural Center, Arlington Art Center, Montpelier Arts Center, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum. His work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, American Craft Council Magazine, and The Baltimore Sun. Towns was honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2016 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore Travel Prize and received a Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Rubys Artist Grant in 2015. In 2018, Towns was a semi-finalist for Sondheim Artscape Prize and awarded an MD State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. Towns’ work is in private collections nationally and abroad, including the private collection of Art + Practice, artist Mark Bradford’s nonprofit based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Nelson Atkins Museum, the City of Charleston, South Carolina, and the Petrucci Family Foundation.
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For further information and to receive a preview of the exhibition, please contact De Buck Gallery via email@example.com, or +1 212 255 5735.
Image: We shall reap a great harvest., 2019, natural and synthetic fabric, nylon tulle, polyester and cotton thread, cotton/polyester blend batting, crystal glass beads, resin buttons, 44 3/4 x 34 3/4 in, 113.67 x 88.27 cm. Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery.