Maynard Dixon’s New Mexico Centennial
Aug 14 (6–9pm) & Aug 15-17 (11am-5pm) | Entrance included with show admission
Location: El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe
One hundred years ago this summer Maynard Dixon showed his work for the first time in New Mexico. It was September 1918, and the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art exhibited a handful of paintings by Maynard Dixon (1875-1947), who was by then well-known for his masterly treatment of Western landscapes, animals, and people. Now, a hundred years later, the work of this seminal American artist will once again be shown in Santa Fe.
Featuring over a hundred paintings and drawings, this is the first time in over a quarter century a major Maynard Dixon public exhibition has been on view in New Mexico. “Maynard Dixon’s New Mexico Centennial” will open August 9, 2018, and will be on display throughout the course of both the Objects of Art Santa Fe and Antique American Indian Art shows, held at El Museo Cultural in the Santa Fe Railyard. Curated by one of the most respected Dixon collectors and dealers, Mark Sublette, this show will affords viewers a rare opportunity to learn about this enduringly beloved figure in American painting.
Maynard Dixon was born in Fresno, California, and though he began as a commercial and illustrative artist, he went through numerous iterations over the course of his fifty-year long creative career. This special exhibition will include never-before-seen artwork, correspondence, and other items, such as Dixon’s original Golden Gate Bridge drawings—accompanied by a letter he wrote to bridge architect Irving Morrow recommending the structure be red in color—as well as a rare New Mexico cloud series executed in 1931 during Dixon's stay in Taos, a first portrait from life, drawn in 1890 and critiqued by Fredric Remington critiqued, and much more. Dixon’s painting easel, books, original poetry, and photographs round out the exhibit.
Dixon incorporated a range of styles and influences throughout his storied career. Inspired by realism, impressionism, and modernism, the artist was also deeply impacted by his second wife, the renowned photographer Dorothea Lange. As a portrait painter, Dixon’s confidant hand was capable of conveying even the subtlest moods; as a commercial artist—several of his Sunset Magazine covers, for instance, are featured in this exhibition—Dixon’s keen ability to capture the adventure and freedom he so obviously admired in the American West is evidenced in dozens of works. Ansel Adams once remarked that from Dixon’s point-of-view, “the West was uncrowded, unlettered, unorganized and free.”
“Maynard Dixon’s New Mexico Centennial,” in addition to being an important historical exhibition, also reveals a fascinating, in-depth look at an artist whose deep curiosity and profound respect for the world around him are evidenced in every brushstroke.