Announces Acquisition of Large-Scale Painting by Rick Lowe

San Antonio, TX (July 14, 2021) – Ruby City is pleased to announce the acquisition of Rick Lowe’s abstract painting, Untitled(2021). This large-scale painting, whose imagery is an abstracted derivation of domino game patterns, alludes to both personal and socio-political concerns. 

Lowe’s career began as a painter but was redirected to more community-focused efforts in 1993 when he co-founded and served as Director of Project Row Houses. In 2015, Lowe stepped down from his director role and resumed his active studio painting practice. Since then he has created several series of works which overtly and indirectly address race, community and systemic inequities. Untitled, (2021) is part of a series related to his concentrated investigation of the game of dominoes as a signifier of community. As the artist states:

The paintings and drawings I make are deeply rooted in the experience of what I call domino culture. While dominos is a board game like many other board games played around the world, I find that dominos in particular generates a kind of culture in communities where it is played.

Rick Lowe

Lowe’s works in this series, much like Untitled (2021), are derived from tracing domino game patterns, thereby incorporating the rectangular shape and dots (or pips) that make up each tile. For Lowe, such imagery charts his personal experiences playing the game with others and the spirit of community these informal gatherings engender. By layering several images of the game plays, based on Lowe’s photographs of the same, these works inevitably draw allusions to maps. Lowe emphasizes this connection noting that this series “was an investigation into how mapping domino games could help me better understand the mapping related to my interest in urban development and other social and political realms.” During his long tenure as Director of Project Row Houses, Lowe often consulted maps to determine ownership of properties, investment and disinvestment within the community and gentrification efforts. Such planning references in his works also draw connections to the purposefully harmful segregation efforts aimed at people of color and practiced by many neighborhoods and cities in the past and present.

This painting is the first work by Lowe to join the Linda Pace Foundation permanent collection, and will complement other works in the collection that connect to  themes of mapping, abstraction, identity and notions of place. The work joins seminal assemblages, videos and works on paper by artists whose work also addresses similar themes, including Terry Adkins, Leonardo Drew, Gabriel Orozco and Shahzia Sikander.

Rick Lowe is an artist who resides in Houston, Texas. Over the past twenty years he has worked both inside and outside of art world institutions by participating in exhibitions and developing community-based art projects. More recently he has returned to making paintings and works on paper, all of which relate to the ideas and concepts of the community-focused efforts that have shaped his practice.

Although formally trained as a painter, in 1993, Lowe co-founded Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community center located in a historically and culturally significant Black neighborhood in Houston, Texas. Lowe, in recognition of the pressing housing and social services needs of the Black community, as well as his desire to preserve vernacular architecture and participate in urban planning, re-focused his artistic practice on developing what would become Project Row Houses. This long-term social practice project of the artist has been internationally-recognized. In 2014 Lowe received a MacArthur award for his dedicated stewardship of this groundbreaking organization and its programming.

Lowe has participated in exhibitions and programs nationally and internationally at, among many others, the Phoenix Art MuseumContemporary arts Museum, HoustonMuseum of Contemporary Arts, Los AngelesNeuberger Museum, Purchase, New YorkGwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea; Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonGlassell School, Houston, TX; the Kumamoto State Museum, Kumamoto, Japan; Zora Neale Hurston Museum, Eatonville, Florida; Venice Architecture Biennale; and the Anyang Public Art Program 2010. Cittadellarte, Biella, Italy, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, and Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece.