Dwight Mackintosh (1906—1999)

Dwight Mackintosh was born in Hayward, California. He was institutionalized at the age of sixteen and spent the next fifty-six years in mental hospitals. According to records, Mackintosh suffered from post-natal brain injury, mental retardation, and mental illness. In 1978, during the trend of deinstitutionalization, he was introduced to Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California. Despite Mackintosh’s history of profound isolation and inward focus, he exhibited an overwhelming need to create. Hour after hour he drew with great focus and concentration. Mackintosh had a unique style in which line was all important. His subject matter was the human figure (usually boys and men) and vehicles. Unintelligible writing was often an element of his drawings, but separate from the primary image. A series of strokes in his later years changed the dynamic of Mackintosh’s images, and his lines became dense and echoing ripples. Mackintosh died in 1999 leaving behind a legacy of thousands of drawings. His work was introduced nationally by The Ames Gallery in 1992, who had championed Mackintosh for more than ten years. Now one of the most respected “outsider” artists, his work is in the Collection de L’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland and in many other public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.




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