John Andrew Dixon
John Andrew Dixon
The collage artworks of John Andrew Dixon, influenced by his foundation in visual design, are rich with aesthetic complexity and allusions to the medium’s history. Often small in scale, the compositions are improvisational and typically maximalist in approach, with both vintage and contemporaneous elements. His experimental miniatures provide the basis for recent larger works on canvas.
In keeping with nearly five decades as a versatile illustrator, design professional, and graphic artist, Dixon resists narrowing his stylistic focus as a fine art collage practitioner. He compares this orientation to instrumentalists who stay conversant with classical, jazz, and other musical forms. He restricts his traditional handmade process to using recycled or trashed materials, including litter, and avoids dissecting publications unless they are already ruined.
As one of the few collage artists who have solved the challenge of working outdoors, Dixon creates plein-air landscapes from discarded paper, tissue, and reclaimed tea bags. These works are intimate in scale, painterly in execution, and rooted in the origins of modern art collage as an innovation by painters.
Dixon says, “I balance my approach by considering collage as both artifact and painting. The result is derived as much from creative impulse as rational thought. Almost anything that was cast off has the potential to be renewed and infused with meaning. When the literal characteristics of source ingredients are successfully transcended, their spontaneous juxtaposition as dynamic scrap offers a shared experience. I’m gratified when others participate in this sense of pure discovery.”
John Andrew Dixon earned a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). As an adjunct associate professor, he taught the fundamentals of graphic communication at Wright State University in Ohio for six years. After an independent career as an award-winning designer and illustrator, Dixon brings a mature focus to his work in mixed media and printmaking.
To understand collage and its history as an art form, Dixon has studied the work of twentieth-century innovators as well as that of contemporary practitioners. As a fine artist and exhibitor, he writes on the topic of collage at his blog site, “The Collage Miniaturist.” His artwork has been widely shown and is part of permanent collections in North America and Europe. A resident of the Bluegrass region for over 30 years, he works from a home studio in the heart of historic Danville and is an adjudicated member of the Kentucky Crafted Program administered by the Kentucky Arts Council.