Manierre Dawson Paintings

Manierre Dawson Short Bio & Paintings

The second of George and Eva Dawson's four sons, Manierre Dawson was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1882.

His middle-class parents encouraged the arts in their family. Both his mother and his father were attorneys.


His parents were very encouraging of his artistic endeavors despite his lack of experience. He was regarded as one of the country's first non-representational artists.

Dawson created a large number of abstract paintings and sculptures over his lifetime. Early art courses for Manierre Dawson revealed a talent for painting and drawing.

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He quickly joined the structural building department at the Armor Institute of Technology, a Chicago institution 12 squares from his south-side Chicago home, after showing early aptitude in these subjects.

Before he knew it, he had changed his focus into painting. By the time he completed his four-year degree in 1909, he had become an artist.

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He developed his artistic sense and mastered his initial geometric style while enrolled in the civil engineering programs.

Manierre Dawson

Manierre Dawson

The structural designing courses had inspired his imaginative vision and inventive approach to painting. He also took physics and calculus lessons, which led to his first abstract paintings.

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Dawson focused himself on painting and sculpture after completing a residency at the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida.

Dawson went for easier, more contemplative topics like a vase of flowers and modernist Still life before presenting his first abstract paintings in the spring of 1910.

At Bath by Manierre Dawson

at bath by manierre dawson

In 1912, Manierre Dawson painted At Bath as an oil on canvas. It features three women from Greek mythology—Athena, Aphrodite, and Circe—who stand for beauty, grace, and youth.

The three graces have been portrayed by numerous artists, but this picture stands out from the others thanks to its distinctive cubist features.

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Perhaps the artist is implying in a subtle way that maintaining nature's beauty is worthwhile. Dawson began spending his winters in Sarasota, Florida, after attending the Milwaukee Art Society, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum gave him his first award in 1966.

Along with the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Springs, his art was on display at the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota.

Dawson met Walter Pach while working in the art industry and started sending him pieces. The Armory Show, also known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, was when Dawson felt the most alive.

Discal Procession by Manierre Dawson

Discal Procession

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is shown in the stunning abstract painting Discal Procession by Manierre Dawson.

A pioneer of "Western" abstract painting, Dawson was influenced by the European Cubo-Futurism movement.

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Dawson found abstract gold early on despite being a bit of an outcast. He was one of the first Western and US abstract artists but was not featured in the Inventing Abstraction, 1910–25 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

Red Fort by Manierre Dawson

Red Fort 1907

Manierre Dawson's artwork Red Fort conjures an unsettling environment and a possible profile of a person.

Dawson may have seen similar illustrations in publications or in Europe because of the sculpture's angular, compact shape, which is evocative of African sculptures that influenced European Expressionists and Cubists.

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It is unknown if Dawson was influenced by these works, though. It is clear from a close inspection of the picture that it is not a portrait. The artist's practice is grounded on a heritage of figurative, self-assured paintings.

Dawson frequently started with a single image and drew from it to create a two-dimensional example, even though the works themselves do not depict any particular subjects.

Whether this aesthetic was intended or not is unclear, but there is no denying that it stands out and is appealing. The artwork is a superb illustration of the postmodernist movement.

If you like this article, please share it with others, so perhaps they can also enjoy it. Any of the artwork purchased on ATX Fine Arts accommodates me as an artist/ writer along with helping the site grow organically, thank you.

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