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.
Southern Exposure #1
Southern Exposure #1

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, his 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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Southern Exposure #1
Southern Exposure #1
Southern Exposure #3
Southern Exposure #3
Southern Exposure #4
Southern Exposure #4
Delta Burn
Delta Burn
Saturday's Storm
Saturday's Storm
On Horshoe Lake
On Horshoe Lake
Martyr's Park
Martyr's Park
Levee
Levee
Collision
Collision
Bluff Poem #5
Bluff Poem #5
De Bluff Poem #1
De Bluff Poem #1
The Burning 1
The Burning 1
Southern Exposure #1
Southern Exposure #1
pastel, gouache and graphite on plaster, 16x18
2018
Southern Exposure #3
Southern Exposure #3
pastel, gouache and graphite on plaster, 16x18
2018
Southern Exposure #4
Southern Exposure #4
pastel, gouache and graphite on plaster, 16x18
2018
Delta Burn
Delta Burn
mixed media on panel, 64x72
2017
Saturday's Storm
Saturday's Storm
mixed media on panel, 32x36
2017
On Horshoe Lake
On Horshoe Lake
mixed media on panel, 32x36
2017
Martyr's Park
Martyr's Park
mixed media on panel, 32x36
2017
Levee
Levee
mixed media on panel, 28x32
2017
Collision
Collision
mixed media on panel, 28x32
2017
Bluff Poem #5
Bluff Poem #5
mixed media on panel, 56x48
2017
De Bluff Poem #1
De Bluff Poem #1
mixed media on panel, 66x72
2017
The Burning 1
The Burning 1
mixed media on panel, 74x82
2017