Simon Dinnerstein: 

Grounded in the Figure

Photo credits: bottom of page

In the Heart of the Country (1997-2016), pencil, powdered graphite, conte crayon, 37-7/8 by 43 inches.

In the Heart of the Country (1997-2016), pencil, powdered graphite, conte crayon, 37-7/8 by 43 inches.

In both drawings and paintings, Simon Dinnerstein has pursued a robust figurative tradition for nearly 50 years. He talks to us about his efforts to say “something about people in a way that is not sentimental and illustrative,” and his work on his 1974 masterpiece, The Fulbright Triptych, which Roberta Smith of the New York Times called a “crackling, obsessive showboat of a painting, dreamed up during a decade when the medium supposedly teetered on the brink of death.”

Anticipation (2002-2003), pencil, powdered graphite, conte crayon, 40 by 44-3/4 inches

Anticipation (2002-2003), pencil, powdered graphite, conte crayon, 40 by 44-3/4 inches

Dinnerstein also tells us about his many years of teaching drawing at the New School and elsewhere, explaining that “drawing is the architecture and armature of whatever you want to do in art.”  It’s the issue of seeing that matters, he adds, a way of preparing your eyes for the outside world. “And the better you see, the more alive you are, and the more conscious you are.”

The Fulbright Triptych (1971-71), oil on wood panels, 14 feet wide.

The Fulbright Triptych (1971-71), oil on wood panels, 14 feet wide.

 

 

Detail, The Fulbright Triptych.

Detail, The Fulbright Triptych.

A comprehensive exhibition is being organized in 2017-2018 in which The Fulbright Triptych will be the centerpiece of 15 paintings, drawings and prints. “Simon Dinnerstein: The Fulbright Triptych and Selected Works” will travel to the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia (July-December, 2017); Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY (March-June, 2018); and the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno (July-November, 2018).  

Marie Bilderl (1971) charcoal, conte crayon, 4 1/2 by 49 1/2 inches

Marie Bilderl (1971) charcoal, conte crayon, 41 1/2 by 49 1/2 inches

 

Simon Dinnerstein with The Fulbright Triptych

Simon Dinnerstein with The Fulbright Triptych

 

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