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MAYNARD DIXON'S BIOGRAPHY     

         

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Maynard Dixon and Brushes

Adobe Town, Maynard Dixon, Tempe Arizona  1915  

The Arizona paintings represent the entire gamut of painting styles Maynard Dixon utilized during his productive career. Heavy impasto and bold colors are typical of his work in the teens. Many of these canvases depict real places and people that Dixon experienced between 1914, and 1916. By the twenties, Maynard Dixon expanded his technique, experimenting with both post-Impressionism, and Cubism. Surrounded by the landscape and people of Southern Arizona in the final years of his life, Maynard Dixon created works with a sparing use of paint and subdued color scheme. Paintings utilizing Maynard Dixon’s powerful command of light and shadow are often considered quintessential Dixon works.

The Cloud Coachella Valley, California , Maynard Dixon

Montana: Maynard Dixon only visited Montana twice, in 1909 and 1917. The lush, heavily-tree-laden vistas did not appeal to him as much as the barren Southwestern deserts, but Maynard Dixon’s love and respect for the Native Americans he met and lived with for a time were the inspiration for the majority of this region’s paintings. Although primarily small in size, the canvases give fantastic insight into the life of the northern Plains Indians. Due to the scarcity and universally appealing subject matter, the Montana works are some of the most sought after by collectors and historians alike.

Snow Patch, Maynard Dixon,Montana 1917

New Mexico: The time Maynard Dixon spent in New Mexico from September 1931 through January 1932 was a happy, contented time for Dixon. Living with wife Dorothea Lange, and children John and Dan, in a house provided by his dear friend Mabel Dodge Luhan, Maynard Dixon completed some of his most productive, and inspired paintings. During the five-month stay, Maynard Dixon was very prolific, painting more than forty canvases of all sizes. Many of these paintings told a story about the interaction between the land and its people. At that time, Northern New Mexico was the heart of a thriving art community.

    

Old Patio, Maynard Dixon, New Mexico September 1931                          

The Taos Society, a group of well-trained and respected artists invited Maynard Dixon to join their exclusive alliance. True to form, Maynard Dixon declined the offer, finding their bylaws on which paintings could be exhibited too confining and rigid. Dixon, the self-taught, highly individualistic painter, had great inner strength and distinctiveness. The New Mexico period represents some of Maynard Dixon ‘s finest works, ones in which his special qualities are clearly imparted.

Summer Storm, Maynard Dixon, New Mexico 1931

Nevada: Nevada could have easily claimed Maynard Dixon as one of it’s own. If not for the cool weather and high altitude of Carson City, Maynard Dixon might well have spent his last years there instead of Tucson. Many of his strongest canvases resulted from the places he visited in Nevada during the 1920’s and 30’s. One of his favorite and frequent subjects were the trees that prominently dotted this Southwestern terrain. In addition, some of Maynard Dixon’s finest desert landscapes stem from his time in Nevada.

Old Chinatown, Maynard Dixon, Carson City, September 1937

White Butte, Maynard Dixon,   Mount Carmel, Utah

Gudalajara, Maynard Dixon, 1905 Watercolor

The Depression-era paintings are the least common in Maynard Dixon’s body of work. The majority of these treasures are located in the Museum of Art collection at Brigham Young University. Maynard Dixon also portrayed people and their intimate interactions with the land around them.

Maynard Dixon respected the Hopi and their culture, and spent many months living with them. Portraying the important association between man and animal, Maynard Dixon captured another essential facet of early 20th-century Western life. Indeed, the horse was a subject found throughout his career, from his earliest drawings and illustrations, to later works. The remote western landscapes and their early 20th-century inhabitants inspired Maynard Dixon. One only has to gaze upon these majestic paintings to understand Maynard Dixon’s vision of the west.

Permission to reproduce photos and paintings in this online catalog secured by J. Mark Sublette. All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from J. Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Inc.

 

 

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