Tim Lowly index . Lowly resume

 Alan Artner has reviewed my work in the Tribune five times - including my first gallery show in Chicago - so he brings a perspective that is unique among Chicago critics. As much as I would like to include more of his writing here the Tribune does not permit electronic reproduction of their material. You can get transcripts directly from the Chicago Tribune or contact me. Meanwhile, here are some excerpts...


Lowly is a bless-every-blade-of-grass realist who produces achingly sincere paintings that show concern for humanity.

The Chicago Tribune, October 6, 1989





Lowly is a spiritual painter in the same way that Andrei Tarkovsky was a spiritual filmmaker and Arvo Part is a spiritual composer. Their work is personal and unaffected by fashion. It seeks to engage viewers on a profound, timeless plane that is attainable by only those artists who have grappled with some of the key questions of existence...

The Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1997





In pieces such as "Dawn" and "Night Swimmer," Lowly's figures seem to exist, inexplicably, at therim of the known world. But, of course, they do not exist there except in spirit, for these are evocationsof interior places, settings for anchorites who confront themselves in dark nights of the soul.

The Chicago Tribune, May 27, 1999






This recent group has naturalistic color drained away or veiled as if by fog or panels of frosted glass. Still, what could have become an easy device does not register that way: if anything it comes across as a puritan gesture that's nonetheless bracing.

The Chicago Tribune, December 23, 1999





Lowly's challenge was to bend the matter-of-fact picturemaking of snapshot photography, which all the paintings reveal, to an artistic purpose concerned less with documentation than capturing states of spirit. This he has achieved most persuasively in the small, nearly colorless panels "Each" and "Every." There we see a wonderful equilibrium between the poetry of the scenes and the means of their depiction.

The Chicago Tribune, November 22, 2002



On November 5,1995 Mr. Artner interviewed three venerable painters - Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine and George Tooker - in conjunction with an exhibition of socially committed art held at the Terra Museum of American Art. I was surprised (and, of course, quite delighted) by the following exchange (which followed comments by Lawrence and Levine that indicated that they had no interest in what is happening in contemporary art):

Artner: Do you, Mr. Tooker, share the same sense of isolation?

Tooker: I've always had friends to talk to who had similar ideals. Paul Cadmus is a friend. Jared French was. So there artists of my generation, and there now are some younger artists. In fact, there's one from Chicago, Tim Lowly. I never met him in person* but we communicate by writing, and he sends me announcements of his shows. I think he's a very good painter. Otherwise, I don't know a great deal of what's going on now - by choice.


*In 2000 I finally had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with George Tooker. The model of faithfulness that he has been for myself and many other artists is something for whichI am very grateful.