Downes paints the landscape pushed carelessly out of balance by technology, but the disjunction is formally underplayed. Colors are subtle, markedly nonindustrial -- tans, pinks, powdery ochers, grayish greens and faded yellow-greens; even the blue of his skies has a sandpapered midday look. He is careful in the way he renders: painstaking but not fussy. Masses of detail accumulate, but Downes allows himself elisions, so that paint and the texture of the canvas can quietly assert themselves.
These are, in their way, passionate paintings, and they touch lightly but firmly on the sublime.