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Joe DOWNING (1925-2007)


Joe DOWNING - Sans titre
Joe DOWNING - Sans titre 1958

Document sans nom

To evoke the work and personality of Joe Downing (1925-2007), a few pages of history that must be leafed through to describe the adventure of the Galerie Arnaud in Paris during the 1950s.

It is well known how many artists who became famous passed through this gallery, from Hartung to Schneider, from Zao Wou Ki to Manessier. Alongside the gallerist Jean-Robert Arnaud, American artists living in Paris participated in the development of this place. John Franklin Koenig was involved in the creation of the gallery. Joe Downing was one of the artists represented by the galerie Arnaud.

In this atmosphere of Saint Germain des Prés, painters, gallerists, collectors, critics formed “a village” as Joe Downing said. A new type of painting appeared, especially that of Joe Downing, which over the years formed on his works an incredible puzzle in which the pleasure of the colourist is expressed without restraint. This “free abstraction” is manifested not only in the limitless use of a palette of colours but also in the fully liberated use of all supports.


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