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'"Lavender Days and Indigo Nights": Exhibition of New Paintings by John Dawson
at James Ratliff Gallery, Hillside Sedona, Sedona, Arizona, USA
Nationally known for his provocative portraits, Dawson debuts a new emphasis in his exploration of the human psyche in this exhibition. Dawson says, “The top of the painting is more abstract and the bottom is more realistic.” Reaching into the heritage of the Old Masters, Dawson combines traditional still life with figures. In some cases, the work is reminiscent of a Cezanne style as well.
Master Dawson has lifted out the traditions of Hans Holbein. Now, we don’t have to travel to the Frick Museum of Art! We can enjoy this majesty in Sedona.
“The only reason I do it is because it’s fun!” Dawson comments. Master experimenter, too, in his attempts to merge the past with the present, Dawson paints on wooden panels. Viewers note figures underneath his overpaintings peek through. Dawson loves to make drawings and there are those done on bits and pieces.
Whether it’s figures painted in oil on canvas, mixed media drawings combining etchings, or linoleum block, there’s a literal three-dimensional effect.
The types of wood panels Dawson uses are birch or red oak. For Dawson, these woods offer subtle textures he prefers. “Varnishing makes the wood dark and the pencil brighter than relying on naked wood.”
In this March exhibition, Dawson will introduce two 4 x 4 companion piece portraits of DaVinci and Michelangelo. They are not necessarily a dyptych but could be exhibited together.
Dawson has also been working with monoprints through the production of a blended roll of red, orange and yellow. “On a palate, they blend,” Dawson says, “On the canvas, against a background of black, blue and a blended roll making a big square, the splatter is dramatic.”
There will always be that je ne sais qyiu about any Dawson work that is always, at once, stamp of the artist causing a gravitational, dramatic, sometimes alarming, encounter. Listening toDawson discuss his work, it’s astounding how engaged, fun-loving, and demanding he is of himself,his media, his subject matter. . .hardly the stereotype of the beret-toqued artiste, palate in hand, tucked away in his garret!
For further information, contact the James Ratliff Gallery: phone: 928-282-