Dwight Mackintosh, Donald Mitchell, and Dan Miller | American Dream | Direct Art Gallery | Düsseldorf

November 4 – December 22, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, November 4, 6-9pm

Direct Art Gallery opens its exhibition No 11 “American Dream” during this year’s joint gallery weekend “Kunst in der Carlstadt” alongside established galleries from the gallery district. For this occasion, Direct Art Gallery is happy to announce its participation with three renowned American artists from the Californian studio Creative Growth. Creative Growth is one the oldest studios for handicapped artists in the United States.

Donald Mitchell, Unititled, 2013, Acrylic and ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches

Donald Mitchell, Unititled, 2013, Acrylic and ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches

Dwight Mackintosh helped Creative Growth gain international recognition. After being institutionalized for 56 years, he was discovered by art historian John MacGregor and began working at Creative Growth, where he pursued his art until his death in 1999. His solo exhibition in the 1993 “Collection de l’Art Brut” in Lausanne became an important milestone in his artistic career. From complex linear structures Mackintosh developed human figures that merge into their spatial surroundings or into flowing rows of letters. Their limbs are strikingly enlarged and multiplied. The figures seem to be simultaneously visible from all perspectives. The partly oscillating, partly serrated lines intensify and unravel so that a complex and expressive rhythm dominates the page.

Donald Mitchell was born in San Francisco in 1951 and has worked at Creative Growth since 1986. Dense, crosshatched fields cover the surfaces of his early works. The thick coats of color do not let one assume the use of preliminary sketches. After many years of condensing his works, Mitchell began to disinter figures that had been hidden beneath the mass of colors and lines. Some of his works testify to this process of disclosure. These days, figures that appear flattened and markedly reduced in formal language populate his drawings. The repetition of nearly identical forms causes the figures to become uniform, anonymous, and finally ornamental. Yet Mitchell thus varies all the more his characteristic stroke and the color compositions of his works, creating a wide spectrum of atmospheres.

Dan Miller writes and overwrites until obliteration. His marks thicken into complex structures and grids, at times in free compositions, at times in layers compressed one into the next. The process of layering arrestingly colored signs on top of each other stays visible up to the last layer. Words like “lightbulb,” “socket,” as well as the names of cities and foods enter into his structures of script. Dan Miller was born in Castro Valley in 1961 and has worked at Creative Growth since 1992. He is among the well-established artists in the studio and is represented in numerous collections, including the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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