THE CHARACTER OF MEXICO
1959-1960: WORKS BY DR. CHARLES DIETZ
On view February 11 through August 11, 2018, Linn Auditorium
Many people know Dr. Charles Dietz as the Director of the Zanesville Art Institute or the Zanesville Art Center (subsequently renamed the Zanesville Museum of Art) from 1954 to 1995. Dietz was also an accomplished artist who took a sabbatical from the museum from 1959 to 1960 to focus on his painting career. This exhibition explores the artist’s brief trip to Mexico and the tremendous impact its cultural landscape had on his work.
Many of the paintings on display have not been on view since they were first exhibited at the ZMA in October 1961, but they feel as fresh today as they did five decades ago. The work’s vibrant color palette, bold forms, and dynamic composition provide an intimate exploration of Dietz’s evolving interest in abstraction. A versatile artist who worked with a variety of media including oils, gouache, watercolor, and ink, Dietz transformed the mountains, lakes, and valleys of the Mexican landscape into bold, highly stylized compositions that reflect the vitality of his adopted home.
Above: Dr. Charles Dietz, The Constant Drumer, 1968, oil on canvas. Gift of the artist, 10177.