Dwight Mackintosh (American 1906–1999)

Dwight Mackintosh, photo courtesy of Le Citizen Hotel du Canal, Paris

Dwight Mackintosh with work, photo courtesy of Le Citizen Hotel du Canal, Paris

At the age of sixteen, Mackintosh, who suffered from severe intellectual disability, was first admitted to a mental institution for reasons that are unclear. He spent the next fifty-six years of his life moving from hospital to hospital until in 1978 he was released into the custody of his brother Earl. Remembering the creative drive his brother had exhibited as a child, Earl took him to Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, an independent visual arts center for adults with mental and other disabilities. Over the next twenty-one years, under the assistance and guidance of the center’s staff, he exhibited tremendous artistic output, evolving and maturing in style. Mackintosh’s artwork is characterized by a chaotic confusion of lines that amalgamate to create a recognizable image. His characters, drawn with fine lines in black marker, appear flamboyant in their exaggerated features in heavy black lines or bright, contrasting colors. Since the 1980s his reputation as a talented and visionary artist has spread far beyond the walls of Creative Growth. Mackintosh has been included in numerous group shows around the United States and has been the subject of multiple solo exhibitions, books, and magazine articles. Most recently a selection of his work has been included in the canonical Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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