GRETCHEN DOW SIMPSON from NetWorks Rhode Island on Vimeo.

Simpson began her distinguished career taking photographs of buildings and worked as a freelance photographer in Boston, New York, Minneapolis, and Scranton from 1962-1970. Her first painting was purchased by The New Yorker magazine in 1974 and 58 paintings were used as covers over a 20-year period. She is best known for her distinctive views of New England architecture.

Simpson’s paintings are recognizable by their clean-lined, architectonic focus, with flat surfaces and deep perspective. Deceptively simplified, these paintings balance shapes, colors, textures, flatness and depth, all in a nearly flat frontal plane. The calm strength of these paintings is evocative of the comment, by19th century Romantic Realist artist J. F. Millet, that “It is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives art its true power.”