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Don Mize ..Fine Artist & Sculptor


The late American poet James Dickey (1923-1997) once said that Matisse's greatest accomplishment was his demonstration of the power of simplicity in a work of art. By this he meant formal simplicity, and of course Matisse's late, celebrated "cut-outs," executed at the end of his life, are the supreme exemplification of that outstanding quality. It is such beautiful simplicity that strikes one about the work of Don Mize

This is especially true of Mize's sculpture, but his pictures also, both drawn and painted, gleam forth with a languid grace, an almost machine-made cleanness of line that is shining simplicity itself. Paradoxically, there is in some of Mize's pictures an intricacy of composition, all the more so in those images that most verge into abstraction.

Mize's work puts on most in mind of several early Modernist movements, as if his style were a reconstitutive amalgam of them all: Purism, Orphism, Vorticism, Constructivism. His work has an elegant fluidity that negates the parallelographic rigidity of Cubism, yet it also eschews the dynamic, explosive image-fragmentation of Italian Futurism. There is a supreme orderliness to Mize's pictures, a palpable quality of precision, in complete opposition to the spontaneity of "action painting" and various muddy expressionism of late twentieth-century art. Yet, paradoxically again, the evolving style of Mize's very linear pictures seems closer to the drawings of the French Surrealist artist Andre Masson (1896-1987), that to the work of any other painter.

Even as one says "painter," however, one must recognize that Mize devotes and equal amount of labor to sculpture. An his sculpture has an identity of its own, being not just a spin-off of his two-dimensional work. The flat-faceted, curved planes of his sculptural surfaces contain a tensile, contradictory force that holds the sculpted figures in powerful equipoise. Mize's sculpture wouldn't be possible without the precedents of Jean Arp (1887-1966), Henry Moore (1898-1986), and others, yet it achieves a measure of originality that distinguishes it among the crowd of derivatives populating the art of sculpture during the last two hundred years.

James Mann, Curator

Las Vegas Art Museum

10½" h x 9" w  on base 
Original patinized bronze 
©Don Mize 1996 All rights reserved
Original bronze
 24 ½" h x 16" w
©Don Mize 1995 All rights reserved
Original bronze
8" h x 5½" w
©Don Mize 1995 All rights reserved
Angel For My Friend"
Framed  42" h x 31" w
Original acrylic on bonded paper
©Don Mize 1996 All rights reserved
©Don Mize 1996 All rights reserved
with a Chair"
©Don Mize 1995 All rights reserved
Don Mize' original images can be found on "Las Vegas Artsm" Limited editions, Cotton Tees, & Mouse Pads
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March 6, 1997