Richard Pousette-Dart


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American abstract painter, born at St Paul, Minnesota. He was mainly self-taught as an artist, although he learned much from his father, NathanielPousette-Dart (1886–1965), a painter and writer. In 1936 he settled in New York. Initially he worked as a secretary and bookkeeper by day and painted by night, but by 1940 he had become a full-time artist. His work at this time was vaguely Surrealist, with forms resembling primitive hieroglyphs painted in a heavy impasto. Over the next decade his rough textures gradually dissolved any suggestion of identifiable forms into an all-over style of rich, jewel-like colours and he became recognized as part of the Abstract Expressionist movement. However, his work retained a lyrical character of its own and David Anfam (Abstract Expressionism, 1990) describes him as ‘a rather neglected figure, perhaps because of a religious mysticism which separated him from the mainstream’. Apart from painting, Pousette-Dart also experimented with various other media, including collage, photography, and sculpture (in metal and wire).

Subjects: Art.

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