Large Scale Oilstick Art
Woman on the Stairs No. 2 by Jane Dickson [American, born 1952], oil stick on black wove paper, 1984
It is rare to see oilstick on paper in a museum exhibit, especially from a living artist. Oilstick tends to be shown as a preliminary sketch medium rather than as a medium of a finished work. This is another favorite piece of mine from the Rarely Seen Contemporary Works on Paper show currently on display at the Art Institute. The colors over the texture of the paper are great. Jane Dickson did such gorgeous color blending in the different areas of the work. It seems to be six foot tall or so. I am not reconciling the dimensions given on the museum’s database [oddly, in millimeters given at 687 x 295 mm] with the scale I saw in person. The museum placard took the liberty of waxing poetic abut the work:
During the 1980s Jane Dickson was a resident of the seedy Times Square area of New York City. Consumed with the flavor and scary reality of the area’s nightlife, she adopted a luminous way of working with oil stick on dark papers. This practice, coupled with abruptly cropped figures and unusual angles of vision, yielded pictures heightened with an aura of mystery.