As an undergraduate years ago, those of us in the Wheaton College art crowd piled into a fifteen passenger van for an unusual studio visit. We drove into Chicago to the home/studio of artist Tim Lowly whose work—we were told—is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which in fact it is). When we got inside, we noticed Tim’s profoundly disabled daughter, Temma, lying silently on the couch. This made some of us uncomfortable at first; but Tim and Temma were not, and they quickly transferred their ease.
An entire show of Lowly’s work devoted to his daughter Temma, entitled Without Moving, is opening this Saturday night at Chicago’s Fill in the Blank Gallery. You can learn more about Lowly’s work from this Image article, or by listening to this more recent interview with the effervescent Christy Tennant. In the latter, Lowly does a fine job of diffusing nearly all misconceptions one might have about his work. His daughter is not in endless “suffering,” his paintings do not “exploit” her, nor is his role as a parent a horrific cross to bear. It’s worth a listen, and if you’re in the Chicago area, worth a visit.