Jane Dickson: Seen

May 12 - June 14, 2015

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents a solo exhibition of paintings by Jane Dickson (b. 1952). This exhibition presents major examples of the artist’s work from across her career, including images of Times Square from the early 80s along with later works, which place Dickson in contemporary counterpoint to earlier artist/observers of New York City such as Edward Hopper and John Sloan.

After graduating from Harvard and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dickson moved to the Times Square area of New York, where she became immersed in the politically charged 1980’s scene of artists working at the intersection of street art, hip hop, film and installation. She was an early member of the influential artist collective Colab (Collaborative Projects) and Fashion Moda in the South Bronx.

Jane Dickson is known for her iconic depictions of Times Square in the 1980s: its neon bar lights and seedy strip clubs. Her striking paintings of suburban homes, highways, casinos, amusement parks and demolition derbies extend this vision of American spectacle across a broader landscape, revealing the uncanny nature of desire in our shared spaces.

Recruiting unorthodox supports such as black vinyl, Astroturf, sandpaper and carpet, Dickson is able to sculpt a quality of light on these suggestive rough surfaces that is at once flickering and harsh – gritty yet hauntingly evanescent, highly suggestive and fittingly obscured.

More film noir than social critique, Dickson’s paintings observe the cultural alienation that lurks beneath America’s themed realities without passing judgment. As she puts it in a 1997 Bomb interview with Sylvia Lotringer, “ I wanted to address the idea of watching.”

Not only has Dickson immortalized a Times Square epoch, but between 1982 – 1990 she initiated “Messages to the Public,” a pioneering monthly digital animation art series (sponsored by the Public Art Fund) for Spectacolor’s Times Square lightboard, including such diverse friends as Keith Haring and Jenny Holzer. Most recently, commissioned by the MTA in 2008, Dickson designed the famous mosaic installations of New Year’s Eve revelers ranging from the Port Authority through the Times Square subway station.

Dickson was the subject of a 1994 traveling museum retrospective, a 1996 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art at Philip Morris, as well as three solo exhibitions at Marlborough Gallery. Her work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. In 2013, she was awarded the Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Dickson will be included in Jeffrey Deitch’s “Coney Island Walls” project this summer that will include more than a dozen old and new graffiti and street artists creating wall sized temporary mural projects in Coney Island.