Sean Downey: Wholly Idle
August 31 - October 28 2017
Steven Zevitas Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue #47
Boston, MA 02118
Wholly Idle presents a new group of large-scale paintings that critique the underlying circumstances of an image's origin. To this end, Downey draws from the history of mechanical reproduction - from photography to cinematography - as powerful metaphors for the machinery of image production and its relation to lived experience.
With the advent of digital image production and its now universal use, individuals have effectively become empowered as producers, curators and editors of an ever-evolving "exhibition" to which anyone can contribute. Downey strategically uses the relatively slow, analog and clunky language of painting as a way to both resist and revel in this nonstop image production with an understanding that the painting studio is, in a sense, also a kind of image generating machine. At their core, Downey's recent paintings suggest that our current sense of "reality" is largely fabricated.
Downey's work has actively been exhibited throughout the country since the early-2000s, including solo exhibitions at LaMontagne Gallery in Boston and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He was the recipient of a 2015 MacDowell Colony Fellowship. This is Downey's first exhibition at Steven Zevitas Gallery.