James Budd Dixon
Red and Green #1
A San Francisco Bay native, Dixon first established himself as an artist in the 1930s as a scene painter working in watercolor, having attended the California School of Fine Arts on and off throughout the 1920s. After working for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and serving in the military during WWII, Dixon returned to the California School of Fine Arts on the GI Bill in 1946, where he developed the mature Abstract Expressionist style for which he is best known.
Dixon was a member of the Sausalito Six, a group of Abstract Expressionist painters–Dixon, Richard Diebenkorn, John Hultberg, Walter Kuhlman, Frank Lobdell, and George Stillman—who studied together under Clyfford Still and Elmer Bischoff at the California School of Fine Arts and frequented each other’s studios in Sausalito in the late 1940s. While many of Dixon’s peers and teachers soon turned to figurative painting, Dixon remained an Abstract Expressionist for the remainder of his career.
Dense canvases of disparate colors characterize Dixon’s Abstract Expressionist style. Dixon’s earlier Abstract Expressionist paintings tended to be more drawing-like, with thinner, more-defined line work amidst the gestural brushwork and were heavily influenced by the work of Jackson Pollock, an exhibition of whose work Dixen saw at the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMoMA) in 1945. Dixon’s distinctive mature style is clear in the assertive and textural application of numerous colors in Red and Green #1, which make the swaths of paint appear to writhe.
Artist: James Budd Dixon
Title: Red and Green #1
Date: ca. 1958
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 84 1/4 x 49 7/8 in. (214 x 126.68 cm)
Collection: The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art