Identified by the well-known art historian John McGregor as a great American art brut artist, Dwight Mackintosh began making artwork late in life and after spending over fifty-five years in institutions. As he had previously shown an aptitude for drawing, he began participating in a program at the Creative Growth Center in Oakland, California. Mackintosh lost little time in making up for the late start, and generated multitudes of drawings, paintings, prints and ceramics during his career at Creative Growth.
Dwight’s work is characterized by repetitive flowing unintelligible writing and “x-ray” views of loosely drawn, yet tightly composed male figures, espacilally “Boysses“ - groups of naked boys with red cheeks and long hair with an erect penis. His work also includes trains, buses, angels, and an idiosyncratic documentation illustrating ‘before and after’ views of tonsillectomy surgery. The contours of his figures are often doubled – perhaps it’s just the pleasure of the gesture, or a way of affirming himself as an artist.
John MacGregor describes the power of his drawings, as “they represent the externalization of the artist’s internal reality. The consistent pictorial language in which the images are embodied is exclusively the product of internal necessity and of obsessive need to fill the blankness of paper with personal markings.”
Mackintosh’s work has been exhibited internationally and most recently at ABCD Collection, Paris, at the Agnelli Pincotheque, Turin and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York.
His work is part of the permanent collections of the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne - which has devoted a retrospective to him -, of the Centre Pompidou, of the American Folk Art Museum in New York and of the Madmusée in Liège.
Preface : Stéphane Corréard
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition preTENse, from September 12th to October 10th, 2015.