MANIERRE DAWSON (1887–1969)
Untitled (Pictogram), about 1914
Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in.
RECORDED: Randy J. Ploog, Myra Bairstow, and Ani Boyajian, Manierre Dawson (1887–1969): A Catalogue Raisonné (Jacksonville, Florida: The Three Graces, 2011), p. 233 no. 1914.30 illus. as “Untitled (Pictogram II)”
EXHIBITED: Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, March 28–April 22, 1981, Manierre Dawson: Paintings 1910–1914, p.  no. 27 illus. as “Untitled”
EX COLL: the artist; estate of the artist, 1969; Dr. Lewis Obi, Frank McKeown, and Lefferts Mabie, 1978; [Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York]; to private collection, 1984 until the present
Untitled (Pictogram) is one of two pictogram pictures that Dawson painted in about 1914. Executed in a horizontal format, the work features a complex arrangement of twisting and twirling organic forms along with some straight-edged geometric elements and assorted cruciform shapes, all of which playfully merge and mingle across the surface of the canvas. Rendered with a Fauvist palette dominated by oranges and yellows that are offset by a striking electric blue, the painting exudes a vital sense of light, a quality that is complimented by the lyrical rhythms created by the artist’s animated handling of line, form, and space. Given that “pictogram” refers to a visual symbol for a word, this exuberant painting may have been intended as a reflection of Dawson’s delight in the fact that he had now attained recognition from his peers.