Platt Fine Art Presents:

William Dickerson: Paintings and Watercolors by a Kansas Regionalist

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
5pm - 8pm

On View at the Gallery:
Oct. 01 - Nov. 04, 2003

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday
10am - 5pm


Platt Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition and sale of paintings and watercolors by the Kansas Regionalist, William Dickerson (1904-1972). An opening reception takes place Thursday, October 2, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The show will remain on view at the gallery through October 16. Over twenty-five works will be available for purchase, including the 1930s painting Tourist Camp--Third Class (see photo), a piece recently exhibited in a retrospective of the artist's work presented by the Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University. 

Dickerson scouting a painting location 
c. 1960

Unlike the work of the popular Regionalist Triumvirate of the time (Benton, Wood and Curry), Dickerson's work was less stylized, more realistic, intentionally understated and always offered a hint of emotional separation rolex  and loneliness. In many ways, these distinctive elements of his work aligned him more with Edward Hopper than with the Midwest Regionalists (with whom he is often associated). This connection to Hopper is further demonstrated by the fact that, according to Dickerson family papers, the Kansas artist met with Hopper in 1944 at Hopper's New York studio. It is believed that from this meeting, a working relationship developed between the two artists.

A Hopperesque sense of isolation is evident in such pieces asStorefront (see photo), a 1934 watercolor depicting a near vacant main street in small-town Kansas. Similarly, in the 1941 watercolor Farmyard (see photo), a lone figure is een trudging through the snow from one desolate building to another. No other activity is apparent.

Dickerson was born in El Dorado, Kansas in 1904 and resided in the state for most of his life except for a four year period (1926-1930) during which he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was during this time that Dickerson studied lithography under the renowned printmaker Bolton Brown, later becoming his student and class assistant. Upon graduation he was offered a teaching position at the school (later filled by noted Chicago artist Francis Chapin), but declined the post and decided to return to his home state. In short order, he would become the guiding force behind the Wichita Art Association.

watercolor, 1934

The Association became one of the most important art centers in the region, attracting painters and printmakers nationwide, the most significant being the Modernist B.J.O. Nordfeldt. Nordfeldt and Dickerson became close associates. In 1931 Dickerson visited Nordfeldt's studio in Santa Fe. And in 1937-38, Nordfeldt lived with the Dickerson family in Wichita, making lithographs with Dickerson and exchanging information and instruction in painting. (from The Regionalist Vision of William Dickerson, by Bill North, Kansas State U., 1998, p11).

Farmyard Yard in Snow
watercolor, 1941

Dickerson was committed to depicting Kansas and the surrounding region as he saw it, unfiltered by the European traditions that influenced other well known Kansas artists of the time (Birger Sandzen), and unaffected by agendas that shaped the work of some of the more well known Regionalist painters of his day. In this sense, Dickerson can be viewed as one of the more "honest" American Scene painters of his era. 

For information on this show contact Platt Fine Art at: 773-281-2500. A fully illustrated catalogue is available for $20.

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Click here to view works by William Dickerson

Exhibition archive:
Works by Werner Drewes: A Bauhaus artist in America
Harold Weston (American, 1984-1972): Paintings & Works on Paper by an American Modernist
Arminn Landeck: Master Printmaker
Phil Epp: Recent Paintings
The Paintings of Carl Flick (1904-1976): An Aman Artist Transformed by Grant Wood
G. Ralph Smith and Harry Brodsky: Works from the 1930s and 1940s
Edwin Fulwider: Selections from the Estate
William Dickerson: Paintings and Watercolors by a Kansas Regionalist
Harold Weston: Paintings and Works on Paper by an American Modernist
Werner Drewes (1899-1985): Paintings, Woodcuts and Collages
James C. Magee (1864-1924): A Rediscovered American Impressionist
Images of New York: A Photographic Journey with Lee Sievan (1907-1990)
Two Chicago Printmakers: Catherine Cajandig and Hiroshi Ariyama
Max Arthur Cohn - Screenprint Pioneer and Painter of the American Scene