Dick Mason

1951-1993, American

"Painting of a dog in front of a print of a dog in front of a painting of a dog in front of a print. #1," 1991

Acrylic and graphite on canvas
Signed and dated right of center: Mason; signed and dated again, and titled, verso: © Dick Mason
82.25" H x 60" W

  • Provenance: Elaine Horwitch Galleries, Scottsale and Santa Fe, AZ
  • Notes: During his lifetime, the Santa Fe based artist Dick Mason (1951-1993) was primarily known for his paintings that captured the beauty of the New Mexico landscape; later in his career, however, Mason's approach to painting took a dramatic shift towards a new style and aesthetic that remains highly prized by collector's today.
    In "Painting of a dog in front of a print of a dog in front of a painting of a dog in front of a print. #1," Mason presents the viewer with his own clever take on trompe l'oeil painting, a centuries-old technique reinterpreted for the modern age. This term means "trick of the eye" in French, uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion of depth with such verisimilitude as to deceive the viewer about the reality of the subject matter.
    The dramatic shift in Mason's style occurred in response to difficult circumstances that the artist faced in his personal life. After contracting HIV at the height of the AIDS crisis, Mason adopted a pair of Dalmatians to keep him company that quickly became the focus of his art. Occasionally, Mason depicts the dogs seated in front of a drawing or painting of the New Mexico landscape that is drawn in the style which, earlier in his career, he was best known. The trompe l'oeil painting featured in this style exemplifies how Mason, in his later work, bridges the gap between the "real" world and the worlds we imagine.
  • Condition: Visual: Good condition. Slight dust accumulation and occasional grime. An unobtrusive fleck of stray dark paint in the white border at the upper right. Very unobtrusive stray flecks of white paint near the vertical right edge. A pale, 3" long diagonal line on the back of the foreground dog, possibly graphite of the original underdrawing. A tiny, rice-sized paint loss in one of the foreground dog's ears.

    Blacklight: No evidence of restoration.

    Frame: 83.25" H x 61" W x 2" D

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August 30, 2022 12:00 PM PDT
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