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Prints Made in Texas

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20th century
32.8 cm x 26.2 cm (12 15/16 in. x 10 5/16 in.)

Dickson Reeder (Fort Worth, Texas, 1912 - 1970, Fort Worth, Texas) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Engraving with etching and softground etching
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1988
Accession Number: 1988.47

In the 1940s Fort Worth, Texas, enjoyed an unusual degree of cultural sophistication and firsthand exposure to the progressive works of early European modernists, thanks to the patronage of several wealthy families and a group of artists that has been called the Fort Worth Circle. A central figure of that group was Dickson Reeder, who had been trained in printmaking both at the Fort Worth School of Art and at Stanley William Hayter’s esteemed Parisian workshop. Reeder and the group were passionate about new ideas and dedicated to exploring new approaches to art making. Though they worked in a variety of styles, they all synthesized modernist notions of abstraction with traditional American representation, producing some of the most avantgarde work in the United States. Their graphic experiments went against the Regionalist tide and were unrecognized until quite recently.
Mazy, a portrait of Hayter’s first wife, is a very early and especially fine example of the Circle’s aesthetic concerns and graphic style. The schematic masklike face indicates Reeder’s interest at that time in the so-called primitive and abstract elements of Surrealist art. The richly patterned image skillfully contrasts the varied textural effects made possible by the Hayter method of soft-ground etching.

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