Tom Dixon was born April 16, 1947 in Butler Pennsylvania, and raised outside Denver. As a teenager, he recalls being deeply impressed with a Franz Kline painting at the Denver Art Museum. After the Army and Germany, Dixon returned to the Denver area where he attended commercial art school for a year and did paste-up and illustration for magazines in the late ‘60s. In 1969 he moved to Chicago, and on the strength of letters of recommendation from several artists, he “lucked out,” as he put it, and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the next two years.
“I didn’t know anything,” he comments. “I was just a kid from the sticks. The GI Bill covered my rent. I could draw realist and super-realist stuff. But I thought, ‘What? Do I want to become film emulsion?’ I spent most of my time in the museum. Painting was dead then. If you were a painter, they’d send you off to the Chicago Academy of Art. I wanted to make a painting, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since.”
Dixon’s most recently started painting on large scale canvas, scale always being what drives his signature mark, “working on canvas forces me to be more painterly,” and even though the end result emanates an air of more sophistication, the paintings are recognizably an eloquently Dixon.
Pictured: Tom Dixon, "Jan 23," 2019, oil graphite on arches paper, 30 x 22"