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African-American Artists

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Dream Cleansing

20th Century
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (40 x 40 cm)

John E. Dowell, Jr., American, b. 1941

Object Type: PRINTS
Creation Place: North America
Medium and Support: Color Lithograph and Iris Digital Print
Credit Line: Purchased with funds provided by Harry White, II
Accession Number: 05-G-3307
Dowell is a well-recognized for his prints, paintings and photography. Born in Philadelphia, he earned a B.F.A. from Tempe University’s Tyler School of Art, and an M.F.A. in printmaking and drawing from the University of Washington. He worked for many years as a professor of art and printmaking at Tyler School of Art and is currently a professor emeritus.

A major element in Dowell's art has been to find an abstract, visual interpretation for spirituality, poetry and music, particularly jazz. His recent work includes photographs that capture high energy, reflections and movement—from nocturnal cityscapes to rural agricultural landscapes with cotton fields.

In Dream Cleansing, Dowell combines new digital technologies with traditional print making techniques to create a modern dreamscape. The Heart is symbolic of his Candomblé faith, an Afro-Brazilian religion, and his vision of a burning heart during his initiation into the religion. He states, “The heart’s spiritual overtones generate reflections on life, bringing me closer to my internal world, my humanity, my peace.”

-Tricia Sackor, Class of 2017
Curatorial Intern
Current Location: In Storage


- Approaching Abstraction: African American Art from the Permanent Collection, Curated by Dr. Klare Scarborough, La Salle University Art Museum, March 15 - June 15, 2017.


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