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Rodney Dickson: The Painting

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Post date:2022-06-09



Rodney Dickson: The Painting
Event Time
Wed. - Sun. 12:00 - 19:00
Event Location
No. 5, Lane 67, Section 1, Jinshan South Road, Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Growing up in the sociopolitical strife and complexity of Northern Ireland, the artist Rodney Dickson, based in Brooklyn, New York, has a strong ambition to explore different forms of art to express his attention toward social issues. During the Vietnam War, his art installation “Queen Bee” toured around the world including New York, Ireland, Los Angeles, and Miami, among other cities. He hopes to attract people’s attention with art. However, it cannot prevent him from being obsessed with oil paint which has brought him continuous experimentation, as his works and life are established in his faith.

The Dialectic of Belief in Art
Dickson’s vigorous intellect and sensibility initiate him into a journey of searching for the meaning of art, traversing across the state of anger, frustration, discernment, impulse, and meditation. Instead of chasing certain methods or mediums, with primitive ways, he is on a spiritual quest for the near impeccability of art. His mentor Mike Knowles said, “I think that all his drawings are made for himself, not the viewers, and it is an essential part of his diet.” The process of understanding Dickson’s creative process is the dialectic without actual answers, as viewers follow Dickson’s use of colors and techniques into his deep belief in art.

Reveal Candidness of The Creator Within Refined Techniques
Eliminating the appearance of symbols and abstract, colors in Dickson’s reminiscently minimalist works play a dominant role. Stirred emotions control colors without any linguistic connotations, which is a scrupulous exploration instead. Applying oil paint within his arm’s length, Dickson has sought the sublime. The lightness streams through the darkness as venous pulses. His thick-layered oil paint is not done deliberately, but rather it cultivates itself naturally. Layered paint is the material representation and spiritual expansion stacking up the depths of the mind without any narratives or semiotics. Recurring scratching techniques seem intentional, yet it illustrates Dickson’s unrelenting pursuit of himself. Living in the moment, his body cells and soul are unsettled, and Dickson controls oil paint capriciously to trace his true self.

A Philosophical Confrontation with Art Creation
Human sensory reception always reacts to changes in external environments, as people who carry different obstacles cannot clarify their mental conditions. Notwithstanding, learning Dickson’s works is like entering Zen meditation. Practicing meditation, people abandon outer existence and arrive at their inner life void of the subconscious. Take off the body shell to discover the reality of the mind, which also responds to the state where Dickson works. His mind guides the direction of the painting tools, reverting to the original form. When your body, mind, consciousness, and emotions are unaffected by external environments, you reach the deepest Zen meditation as outer environments evolve with your mind. Dickson’s will has constantly bred his ever-growing works, leading viewers to the place beyond the earthly realm.

Departure from his early depressing expressions, in this exhibition, we can see that Dickson’s works have matured into being mellow. His art traverses two nearly ruthless behaviors – creation and destruction, which sounds paradoxical. Dickson would like to prove that the relationship between these two is only ebb and flow rather than binary opposition. There is a balance we will never reach, which is the beauty Dickson wants to catch.

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