William Downs was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. Downs’ practice, mediums vary from drawing, painting, murals and printmaking to experimenting with installation and three-dimensional studies. The line is his current notable element which he considers paradoxically fundamental and surreal based on its infinite capabilities. His work expresses truth in common forms turned ambiguous. His use of repetition distorts what one expects to be or be true. Are his forms containers or do they find themselves contained by culture? Time and certainty lose their structure when one looks at figures that reform and deform simultaneously.
His solo exhibitions include: University of Alabama Birmingham: Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, Alabama; Band of Vices Gallery, Los Angeles, California, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia and the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri. He is the recipient of the 2020 Artadia Award and Working Artist Project and has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Parsons The New School for Design, New York, New York; The Cooper Union, New York, New York and Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. His work is in the permanent collections of: Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St. Louis, Missouri; Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Microsoft Collection, Seattle, Washington; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; The Hort Family Collection, New Jersey and New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia and the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington D.C.