Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Don Estes
Untitled (20991)
mixed media on panel, 48x44

Don Estes
Untitled (20992)
mixed media on panel, 48x44

Artist Don Estes

From the collection of Sue and Steve Layman Lightman

Don Estes's Strata diptych (2002) takes is directly influenced by the landscape of the Memphis region… the flat planes of the delta and the vertical rock layers to the west that appear stacked one upon the other to form a sense of multiple horizon lines. Estes likes the idea that paintings are visual representations of what cannot be seen. "They can integrate what the eye perceives with what our emotions interpret. Just as stratified segments of earth reveal events in time, I think of my work as being constructed of layers of information, some opaque and literal, others translucent and obscure."

Estes was an original founder of Number: A Quarterly of the Visual Arts, as well as a pioneer of the South Main Arts District. His Second Floor Contemporary Gallery (1999-2005) was an important non-commercial art space for new work by regional and national artists. He received his BFA and MFA from the University of Memphis, and serves as a graduate advisor at Memphis College of Art.

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