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
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
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.