Archive for May 24th, 2021

In the next couple of weeks I will be focusing here on work from my annual solo show at the Principle Gallery. This year’s show is titled Between Here and There and opens next Friday, June 4 at the Alexandria gallery. But this morning, I have several tasks to see to and am rerunning the post below about the late artist Preston Dickinson. Great work. See you tomorrow!

Preston_Dickinson_-_Factory_(c__1920) Columbus Museum of ArtI’m a fan of the Precisionist movement in art which was formed in the early 20th century and often depicted the industrial structures that were fueling the growth spurt taking place in America. There are some big names in this movement, mainly Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth, both of which I have featured here in the past.

But, like many of the movements in art, there are many lesser but equally brilliant stars in their universe. I recently came across one that really hit with me, mainly because of the energy and breadth of his work. I thought it was all really good, really strong and evocative. But it moved in many directions, pulling from many inspirations. There was some Futurist work, some elements of Cubism and others. It was as though this was an artist that was so talented that he was having trouble finding that single voice that fit his needs.

Preston_Dickinson Old Quarter Quebec 1927 - The Phillips CollectionHis name was Preston Dickinson who was born in NY in 1891.  He studied as a youth at the Art Students League under William Merritt Chase and soon after, with backing from a NY art dealer, headed off to Europe to study and exhibit there. Coming back to America, he moved around a bit but by the late 1920’s was considered among the stars of American Modernist painting.

In 1930, he moved to Spain to live and paint and several months after being there contracted pneumonia and died there. He was only 39. He produced only a few hundred pieces of work in the twenty years or so in which he was producing work.

So maybe there is something to this feeling that he was still in the midst of finding his true voice. It makes me sad to ponder what might have been and what sort of work was lost to the world when he passed away. He was obviously a huge talent with an active and inquiring mind.

I am glad to have just stumbled across him now and hope that the joy his work brings me somehow moves into my own.

Preston Dickinson Harlem River MOMApreston-dickinson-tower-of-goldPreston_Dickinson Old Quarter Quebec 1927 - The Phillips CollectionPreston_Dickinson_-_My_House_-_Google_Art_ProjectPreston_Dickinson - Industry 1923- The Whitney Collection

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