Born in Chicago in 1952, Jane Dickson is an American painter and printmaker. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and a Studio Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1976. After living in France in the early 1970s, it became Jane Dickson’s goal to define “American,” often creating paradoxes such as the flashiness of Times Square, strippers and demolition derbies to quiet suburban scenes, homes, malls, and families watching television. She lives and works in New York City.
Dickson is known for her paintings and prints of America's nocturnal underbelly. She has depicted Times Square peepshows, carnivals, burlesques, and recession-era casinos, revealing a sense of bleakness and alienation underneath such glitzy spectacles. One of her recurring subjects is the open road, a quintessential American trope that is synonymous with the promise of good times, adventure, and self-discovery. In Dickson's grey and gritty highway pieces, however, the journey is long and arduous, and the destination seems permanently deferred. In this regard, Dickson has been compared to Caravaggio and Hopper, artist who explored the margins of culture for its mystery and dark beauty. While she looks at society with the observant eye of a social realist, Dickson is also interested in experimenting with different media, textures, and techniques. She often explores the aesthetic possibilities of unusual surfaces, painting on Astroturf, sandpaper, vinyl, and carpet.
Solo exhibitions of her work have been shown at The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, Creative Time, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Major museums including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Karamay Museum in Xin Jiang, China, and most recently the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian own her artworks.