John Dowell is an American printmaker, etcher, lithographer and painter whose work is best appreciated up close. Encouraging a meditative and liberating connection to the present moment, his detailed and delicate abstract forms are often inspired by, or even visual representations of, poetry, dance and music, in particular jazz. He has been influenced by abstract expressionists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, and visionary jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and Cecil Taylor, and his works succeed in composing their own spontaneous improvisations that could be likened to music in their own right.
Born in Philadelphia, Dowell grew up in a housing project there and explored art with his brother. It is interesting to discover that as child, his first artistic inspiration came from copying the comics of the Lone Ranger, the fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his Native American friend, Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of American culture. Although Dowell’s art is far from comic book in style, it seems his interest in iconic cultural figures remains a significant influencing force in his unique character of expression.