Rodney Dickson

March 2nd, 2018 — March 28th, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, March 2nd, 6PM – 9PM


DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary is please to present Rodney Dickson’s first one-person exhibition in New York since 2010.

Born in 1956 in Northern Ireland, Dickson grew up during the troubled years of civil disorder that engulfed that country, and that experience would shape his work for decades to come. When first encountering Dickson’s work, one may be drawn to a facile categorization of the work as abstract painting, but its immediacy and physicality begs for a broader appraisal.

Dickson’s work has never really been abstract (I don’t really believe anything is wholly abstract – we abstract from, abstraction is a verb not a noun) and one need simply observe Dickson’s tender and moving portraiture and landscape drawings to understand his roots lay in years of direct observation.  His work has always been an urgent response to what has been going on in his life and to the world around him. 

Dickson’s work reflects his experience of growing up in Northern Ireland, his interest in the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, and, in his most recent work, deals with a great personal tragedy.  In all of these, his overwhelming physicality combined with a wide and intense color range (not usually seen in painting this thick) lend aspects to the work that are visceral, immediate and violent, and create a rhythm and pulse that speak to the deepest range of human emotions.

In his most recent works I believe Dickson is consciously and unconsciously trying to come to terms with that deeply personal tragedy. The openness and rawness of these canvases (whole areas are left blank in opposition and conjunction with thick vibrant impasto) express a sense of loss, and the beautiful and ebullient color recalls gardens and nature’s renewal triumphing over that sense of loss. These works call to mind both the profoundly tragic beauty of the paintings of Mark Rothko and the remarkable light and joyfulness found in the work of Joan Mitchell.

Something Mark Rothko once said could apply to Dickson’s work as well: 

“I am not an abstractionist… I am not interested in the relationships of color or form or anything else… I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on — and the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions.”

Dickson is the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Award and a Ford Foundation Artist Grant, and has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at John Davis Gallery in Hudson (where he has an upcoming exhibition in the summer of 2018), New York, NUNU Fine Art in Taipei, Taiwan, and Gasser Grunert in New York City. Dickson’s work is held in numerous public collections, including the Hanoi Art Center in Hanoi, Vietnam; Arts Council of Northern Ireland in Belfast, Ireland; Arts Council Of Great Britain in Manchester, England; Ulster Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and the Palmer Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.


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Farrell Brickhouse

Farrell Brickhouse “Unattended” (2018, oil, glitter on canvas, 14"x11")

Farrell Brickhouse “Unattended” (2018, oil, glitter on canvas, 14″x11″)

Concurrent to the exhibition of Dickson’s paintings in our main space, our Project Room we will feature a selection of paintings by Farrell Brickhouse in advance of his one-person exhibition at DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary. Brickhouse can articulate a painted figure in space through a single gesture and stroke, all the while creating a deeply personal narrative using archetypes and myths ranging from the pre-historical, to personal memories, to UFO related imagery. He has been an instructor of painting at The School of Visual Arts since 1980 and guest lecturer at many BFA and MFA programs across the country.

Brickhouse is brilliant, sweet, and generous of spirit and deed, as are his paintings. I have often referred to him as the “Saint Francis of Staten Island,” as he feeds birds and squirrels peanut butter in the dead of winter in the snow. His beautiful and intimate work creates a place of shared humanity that touches the soul. As is the case with all true artists, there is no difference between who he is and what he paints.

Farrell Brickhouse was born in New York City in 1949 and attended Queens College of the City University of New York. In 1971 he spent a summer at Skowhegan School. Brickhouse’s first NYC one-person exhibition was in 1978 with the pioneering gallerist Julian Pretto, followed by two solo exhibitions with Max Protetch Gallery and then 4 one-person exhibitions with the Pamela Auchincloss Gallery in NYC. Recently Brickhouse has had solo exhibitions with John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY, Fred Giampietro Gallery in New Haven, CT, and Life on Mars Gallery in Bushwick, NY and has most recently participated in group exhibitions at Edward Thorp Gallery and DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary



curated by Mary DeVincentis

artists include:
Katherine Bradford, Farrell Brickhouse, Peter Burns, Mary DeVincentis, Frankie Gardiner, Brenda Goodman, Kerry Law, Danny Licul, Grace Metzler, Denise Sfraga, John Smiddy, Jack Arthur Wood Jr.


Brenda Goodman "Buried Song" (2007, oil on paper, 14"x11")

Brenda Goodman “Buried Song” (2007, oil on paper, 14″x11″)

In our annex space (M. David Studio), across the hall from the main gallery we will also have an exhibition of works curated by Mary DeVincentis titled Aporia, a brick and mortar version of the online exhibit featured on last January. The exhibit will include work by such wonderful painters as Katherine Bradford, Farrell Brickhouse, Peter Burns, Mary DeVincentis, Frankie Gardiner, Brenda Goodman, Kerry Law, Danny Licul, Denise Sfraga, John Smiddy, Jack Arthur Wood Jr. and a few surprise pieces from Mary’s private collection. This exhibition will give Mary an opportunity to provide greater depth and insight into her vision as an artist as a lead-in to her one-person exhibition in April, 2018 at DSC. 




Daniel John Gadd "Untitled" (2017, oil, aluminum, mirrored glass, mastic and metal leaf on wooden panels, 106"x70")

Daniel John Gadd “Untitled” (2017, oil, aluminum, mirrored glass, mastic and metal leaf on wooden panels, 106″x70″)


As a final crown for all of the above, in what we are calling “March Madness,” DSC is proud to announce a follow-up to Daniel John Gadd’s successful one person exhibition at DSC last November: a solo exhibition of his new works at VOLTA NY, booth D10, from March 7 through March 11. VOLTA NY takes place at Pier 90 (at West 50th Street) New York, NY 10019

Critic /Poet /Painter Thomas Micchelli wrote of Gadd’s work in his Hyperallegic review (November 18th, 2017) in conjunction with his and Elizabeth Murray’s show at DSC:

“What is most compelling about this work, beyond infusing a Dumpster aesthetic with iridescent, baroque beauty, is the way its formal intuition guides each convulsion: the architecture hidden beneath the whirlpool, magnifying the scope of meaning. The cracked, mottled surfaces are more than simply signifiers of discontent: they are evocations of moss and weeds; rivers and sewers; dirt and rust; blood and smoke. The wing motif, which returns as triangles or squares in paintings such as “Cygnus” or the self-identified “Wing,” may be an indicator of the futility denoted in Yeats’s “widening gyre,” but it could also be an intimation of hope among the ruins — it holds the work aloft.

Gadd is undoubtedly Murray’s spiritual heir, with a difference. Like Murray, his shaped surfaces bridge painting and sculpture, emphasizing the thingness of the artwork, but while her canvases are painstakingly constructed to reflect the buoyancy of her vision, his four-by-eight sheets of plywood are splintered into fragments, as if consumed by anxiety.”

-Michael David, Painter/Curator,  February 14, 2018