Don Estes

b. 1959, St. Louis, MO
Just as stratified segments of earth reveal events in time, I think of my work as constructed of layers of information, some opaque and literal, others translucent and obscure.
The Sylamores
The Sylamores

Don Estes is known for harmonious, dimensional abstractions of the landscape of the American South. He focuses on geological formations, river bluffs, coastlines, and horizons- places where water, land, and light interact and change through the passage of time. In a range of intensities and textures, he layers dry pigment, pastel, and gesso in horizontal and vertical bands, narrow stripes, wide blocks, and translucent washes onto raw canvas or panel. His works share the same dualities and subtle complexities of the environments he interprets: solid yet temporal, monumental yet vulnerable, present and grounded yet untethered. Like fossils, they reveal hidden dimensions and histories through their shape, form, and texture.

Don Estes received his BFA and MFA from the University of Memphis. Estes has participated in exhibitions in Boston, New York, Nashville, Austin, and Amsterdam. His work is in the collections of Duncan Williams, Inc., Memphis; Harvest Group, LLC, Memphis; Iberia Bank Memphis Headquarters; NSA Corporate Headquarters, Collierville, TN; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Mercury Investment Management, Memphis; NexAir, Memphis; Regions Insurance, Memphis; and Wunderlich Securities, Memphis, among others. He 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.

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The Sylamores
The Sylamores
Horizon, Red
Horizon, Red
Horizon, Yellow
Horizon, Yellow
Days End
Days End
Watershed 6
Watershed 6
Watershed 7
Watershed 7
Watershed #8
Watershed #8
Builds #1
Builds #1
Builds #2
Builds #2
Builds #3
Builds #3
Builds #4
Builds #4
Builds #5
Builds #5
Builds #6
Builds #6
Builds #7
Builds #7
Builds #8
Builds #8
Builds #9
Builds #9
Builds #10
Builds #10
Aquifir
Aquifir
Little Red
Little Red
Horizon, Dusk
Horizon, Dusk
Boundry
Boundry
Watershed #2
Watershed #2
Watershed #3
Watershed #3
Southern Exposure #7
Southern Exposure #7
Southern Exposure #6
Southern Exposure #6
Saturday's Storm
Saturday's Storm
The Sylamores
The Sylamores
mixed media on panel, 45x48
2020
Horizon, Red
Horizon, Red
mixed media on panel, 46x48
2020
Horizon, Yellow
Horizon, Yellow
mixed media on panel, 48x46
2020
Days End
Days End
mixed media on panel, 48x56
2020
Watershed 6
Watershed 6
mixed media on panel, 64x72
2020
Watershed 7
Watershed 7
mixed media on panel, 48x56
2020
Watershed #8
Watershed #8
mixed media on panel, 44x48
2020
Builds #1
Builds #1
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #2
Builds #2
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #3
Builds #3
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #4
Builds #4
mixed media on panel, 40x44
2020
Builds #5
Builds #5
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #6
Builds #6
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #7
Builds #7
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #8
Builds #8
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #9
Builds #9
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Builds #10
Builds #10
mixed media on panel, 24x28
2020
Aquifir
Aquifir
mixed media on panel, 48x56
2020
Little Red
Little Red
mixed media on panel, 64x72
2020
Horizon, Dusk
Horizon, Dusk
mixed media on panel, 74x84
2020
Boundry
Boundry
mixed media on panel, 32x36
2019
Watershed #2
Watershed #2
mixed media on panel, 40x44
2019
Watershed #3
Watershed #3
mixed media on panel, 40x44
2019
Southern Exposure #7
Southern Exposure #7
pastel, gouache and graphite on plaster, 16x16
2019
Southern Exposure #6
Southern Exposure #6
pastel, gouache and graphite on plaster, 16x18
2019
Saturday's Storm
Saturday's Storm
mixed media on panel, 32x36
2017

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