Constance (Connie) Lowe was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and lives and works in San Antonio. She received an MFA from Western Michigan University and a BFA from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Her current mixed media works combine influences of her Midwestern farming heritage, landsat photography, and the legacy of geometric abstract painting with the physical presence of materials such as felt and leather. By chiefly using the visual language of non-representation, her collages and paintings all demonstrate how our natural environment and our relationship to it is increasingly abstract.
Constance Lowe’s exhibition Air to Ground consists of highly textural geometric collages that are brilliantly colored and either set against semi-translucent drafting film or presented as shaped panel paintings. According to catalogue writer Alison Hearst, “A single work’s composition often incorporates wool felt, photographs of clouds, peculiarly dyed commercial leathers, and muted passages of acrylic paint and colored pencil. Each collage in the series stands apart from the other in palette, arrangement, and scale, yet they have a kinship in that they all juxtapose traditional and unconventional artistic materials, and share visual and thematic threads.”
These works are all part of Lowe’s Garden City series, 2013 to the present, which, formally and conceptually, evolve from US geological landsat (NASA land satellite) photographs that depict the circle-and-grid-shaped center-pivot irrigation farming patterns that dot the Midwest’s landscape. These aerial survey images often code the crop formations in unnatural hues in order to track the agricultural use of water throughout the years, and to document the continual changes to the earth’s surface. These human and technological mediations are, in turn, echoed in Lowe’s Garden City series, yet she pushes, displaces, and layers the flat forms found in the landsat imagery to further abstract the circular, unnatural shapes.