THE CHARACTER OF MEXICO
1959-1960: WORKS BY DR. CHARLES DIETZ
On view February 11 through August 11, 2018, Linn Auditorium
Dr. Charles Dietz, the former director of the Zanesville Art Institute from 1954–1995 (now the Zanesville Museum of Art), was a trained artist inspired by the cultural landscape of Mexico. The sixteen works in this intimate exhibition, which come from the museum’s permanent collection and two generous lenders, explore an incredibly fertile time in Dietz’s artistic life, when, from 1959 to 1960, this Zanesville-native travelled to the state of Guanajuato, located in central Mexico.
The vibrant paintings, subtle watercolors, and bold character studies from this period demonstrate Dietz’s stylistically experimental nature. An academically trained draughtsman and painter, Dietz purposefully and deftly shifted between realism and abstraction to evoke the region’s unique characteristics. On the one hand, Dr. Dietz captured the region’s lush countryside and European-inspired architecture in a series of airy and delicate sketches. On the other hand, his evocative and forceful abstract paintings convey the drama of Mexico’s jagged mountains.
Above: Dr. Charles Dietz, The Constant Drumer, 1968, oil on canvas. Gift of the artist, 10177.