Dwight Mackintosh


Identified by the well-known art historian John McGregor as a great American Outsider Artist, Dwight Mackintosh began making artwork late in life and after spending over fifty-five years in institutions. 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 text and “x-ray” views of loosely drawn, yet tightly composed male figures; his work also includes trains, buses, angels, and an idiosyncratic documentation illustrating ‘before and after’ views of tonsillectomy surgery. Mackintosh’s work has been exhibited internationally and most recently at ABCD Collection, Paris and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York. (Creative Growth)

Mackintosh was an artist who made spontaneous, fluid, and highly inventive drawings. He lived with his family in Hayward, California, until he was sixteen, and did not begindrawing until late in life. Although he participated in an art program at Stockton State Hospital in Stockton, California, where he was a resident in the 1970s, it was notuntil he began making art at the Creative Growth Art Center, a visual-arts program for disabled adults in Oakland, California, in 1978 that his drawing became a major thrust in his life. His images rise out of a swirl of complex, deftly drawn lines. Mackintosh generally used felt-tipped pens, pencil, or chalk to create his drawings, withcolor (tempera, watercolor, or colored pencil) applied only sparingly. Early in his association with Creative Growth, his imagery often incorporated groups of human,generally male, figures. Later, he included representations of school buses and other forms of transportation, as well as buildings, animals, and other subjects, in hiscompositions, which are characteristically accompanied by text written in a rhythmic, indecipherable cursive script. Mackintosh, who not only suffered from mentalretardation but may have also suffered from other psychological impairments, the result in part of fifty-six years of institutionalization, has received widespreadrecognition for his artwork. ( Encyclopedia of American Folk Art)

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