Rodney Dickson "Paintings"

Tanja Grunert Gallery

poster for Rodney Dickson "Paintings"

This event has ended.

Rodney Dickson’s paintings have an intensity that commands attention. The work is visceral; you feel it before your eyes begin to digest the fierce intellect exploring the psychological impact of chaos and violence that have infused the artist’s paintings since the beginning. Dense layers upon layers of paint are evidence of the battles Dickson wages on each canvas, destroying and obscuring the previous work and repainting in ongoing rigorous sessions, passionately and ruthlessly attacking the canvas until the colors, the light, the relationships on the painted surface capture the essence of the idea. He says the paintings feel like they’ve been “dragged out of him” each time, never getting easier as he strives daily to paint better than the one before, creating and destroying until something unique and genuine emerges.

Rodney Dickson is an artist of significant range, engaging in performance,film, video and installation, but he is most renowned as a skilled and zealous painter who pushes the possibilities of the medium. This show focuses exclusively on his painting, featuring 14 abstract works created over the last two years. Larger than human scale, at 8 x 5 feet, they are both enveloping and confrontational. Some are an extension of recent work, in dark and blood-like colors, and others are a departure, created in a lighter palette inspired from an artist residency last July in the Xu Cun Mountains of Shanxi Province, China. The surreal environment, with light diffused from the misty clouds that continually obscured and revealed the lush landscape, inspired Dickson to seek a new way to express this experience with the natural world. Asia has had a strong influence on the artist, who found parallels there with the war-torn childhood he experienced in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.” Rodney has spent significant time in Vietnam, Cambodia and elsewhere in Asia creating art, curating, teaching, and working on humanitarian commissions. There are few evident clues to the specific content in Rodney Dickson’s complex paintings; much remains buried and unnoticed like many of life’s moments. What manifests in the work is a palpable restlessness and energy, an exuberance matched by despair, and a deep empathy for the human condition and belief in humanity’s power for healing and hope in the face of the futility and hypocrisy of conflict.

Rodney Dickson, born in Northern Ireland in 1956, lives and works in Brooklyn in a studio filled with dozens of paintings in various states of action and vintage motorcycles he restores and rides. He received his BA in Fine Art from Liverpool Polytechnic, England 1979–1983. Recent major awards include the Pollock Krasner Award, 2011; and the Ford Foundation in 2005 and 2004. Following his third solo exhibition at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, he will be featured in a group show at Frith Street Gallery, London and the French Institute, Rangoon, Burma. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include: Ex Teresa Museum, Mexico City, 2012 & 2011; New Zero Gallery, Rangoon, Burma 2010; Nha San Duc,Hanoi, Vietnam, 2010; Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2006; The Engine Room Belfast. N. Ireland, 2005; Art Cocoon, Tokyo, Japan, 2005, and more.

Rodney Dickson’s work is in numerous public collections including Haeinsa Temple, S. Korea; Arts Council Of Northern Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Liverpool University, Liverpool, England; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England; The Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland; The Palmer Museum Of Art, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.; The Dith Pran Cambodian Holocaust Awareness Project, New York, U.S.A.; Indiska Magasinet AB, Stockholm, Sweden; Hanoi Art Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam; and more.



from June 05, 2012 to July 13, 2012

Opening Reception on 2012-06-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


Rodney Dickson

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