Edwin Dickinson’s (1891–1978) oeuvre is unique among American artists of the 20th century. Although he was thought to have anticipated abstract expressionism with his highly abstracted landscapes, the “irresistible site” is always recognizable. As Joe Shannon wrote for the Smithsonian Press, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Edwin Dickinson was not opting for reduction in a modernist sense. He never desired to have the surface effects subvert the particularity of a site, but the interplay between surface effects and depicted effects excited him.
Although Dickinson was very much a modern painter, he was influenced by Whistler’s muted, tonalist landscapes and was greatly impressed by Velazquez and El Greco.