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Preston Dickinson

(1891—1930)


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(1891–1930).

Painter. Painterly touch, exceptional formal complexity, and muted, often pastel color harmonies distinguish his contribution to precisionism. Industry (Whitney Museum, c. 1923) compresses a number of factory buildings into an intricate arrangement, further complicated by the presence of shadows, smokestacks, water towers, and other extraneous elements. On occasion, he also experimented with dynamic fragmentation of forms derived from cubism. Born in New York, he studied at the Art Students League from 1906 to 1910. George Bellows, William Merritt Chase, and Ernest Lawson numbered among his teachers. In 1910 he left for several years in Europe. There he absorbed a wide range of artistic influences, including Cézanne's example, fauvism, and cubism. However, he was also drawn to the structural integrity of Giotto's fourteenth-century frescoes and to the decorative surfaces of Japanese prints. Upon his return, he gradually simplified his style toward precisionist essentials. During the last years of Dickinson's short life, visits to Quebec provided subjects of many paintings. He died of pneumonia in Bilbao during a visit to Spain.

Subjects: Art.


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