Don Estes

Bluff Poem

25 April – 19 May 2017
OPENING: Friday 28 April, 6-8pm
TALK: Saturday 6 May, 11am

This April David Lusk Gallery-Memphis presents new work by Memphis painter Don Estes. The show’s title, “Bluff Poem” references the inspiration Estes finds on the Memphis bluff ridge along the Mississippi River.

As an abstract painter Estes interprets horizon lines and landscapes into mixed media works on panel. While earlier works emphasized the layering bands of actual landforms “Bluff Poem” references atmosphere as well as structure. Subtle suggestions of clouds, fog, rain and sunlight are visible throughout Estes’s mark making and use of color.

Estes may be heavily influenced by the qualities of a specific landscape like bluff ridge, however he does not consider himself a landscapist. He states, “I am much more interested in the subjective essence, the circumstance of a moment, than the literal interpretation of place. There are many places in the works; a mark, a shape, an incised line, that, though not deliberate, seem to represent an action or “occurrence”.

The work in “Bluff Poem” begins with layers of gesture. Estes scrapes and stains often muted pigments onto medium to large wooden panels. His signature horizontal structure reveals overlapping sections that create a subtle complexity. Accidental marks are embraced and reworked to suggest “a birds flight, an argument, a remembrance, a moment of recognition.” For him, “the desired outcome is a visual experience that alludes to both the natural world and a poetic sensibility.”

Estes received his BFA and MFA from the University of Memphis. While well-known in the mid-south, Estes also has dealers in New York and Boston. His work is in many public collections, including Duncan Williams Inc., Iberia Bank and Deloitte.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 11-4. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 901 767 3800 or

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