Willard Dixon was born in Kansas City MO. 1942. He has shown extensively in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and has had over 40 one man shows.  His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, The SFMOMA, and the Oakland Museum. He has executed large scale commissions for the California Supreme Court, The Oakland Museum, and the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse, and received an NEA Fellowship Grant in 1989.


Artist Statement:

With the perspective afforded as my practice of painting moves well into its fifth decade, I have occasion to reflect on what common spirit  might be running through the work, underlying the different approaches and subject matter that have emerged over the years.  What I perceive most clearly in the successful work is a sense of presence or aliveness, and a “rightness” of form scale and color.   Somehow through luck, hard work or some combination of the two, I’ve been able to find and draw these qualities out of the paint.  In my landscapes, that can be achieved through a certain evocation of space and light.  In the still lifes, by a concentration on composition and scale and reduction to essentials, and now in my portraits, engaging similar means in the service of conjuring a human presence. Through it all I’ve learned to accept and enjoy the impossibility of having more than a momentary resting place before moving on to another attempt.  I do appreciate more and more the way a painting, its spirit arising out of such humble materials, continues to rest silently on the wall, contemplating both itself and the viewer amidst the hurried buzz of our contemporary lives, offering a refuge and occasion for those desiring a deeper and more satisfying engagement of our attention.  


Born: Kansas City  MO, 1942

Education: Art Students League, New York, NY

Cornell University

Brooklyn Museum School

San Francisco Art Institute,  M.F.A.  1969


Awards and Commissions           

N.E.A. Fellowship Grant- 1989

California Supreme Court Mural Commission- 1998

Las Vegas Federal Courthouse Commission, G.S.A.-1998



1989-90: San Francisco State University

1975: San Francisco Art Institute Realism Seminar

1974-76: Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA

1973-74, 1976: California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA

1971-72: California State University, Hayward, CA


One Man Exhibitions

2015: Willard Dixon Portraits College of Marin Fine Art Gallery, Kentfield

2014: SFMOMA  Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2008: SFMOMA  Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2005: Fischbach Gallery, NYC,NY

2005: Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004: Fischbach Gallery, NYC, NY.

2002: Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA                                                                              

2002: Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA

2001: Hackett Freedman Gallery,  San Francisco, CA

2000: Fischbach Gallery, NYC , NY

2000: Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA

1998: Hackett Freedman Gallery, SF, CA

1997: Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1996, 1995: Contemporary Realist Gallery  (now  Hackett Freedman Gallery)

1994: Fischbach Gallery

1993: Contemporary Realist Gallery

1992: Fischbach Gallery

1991: Earl McGrath Gallery, 454 North, Los Angeles, CA

1990: Fischbach Gallery

1989: William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1988: Gallery 454 North, Los Angeles, CA

1987: Fischbach Gallery

1987: Gallery 454 North

1986: William Sawyer Gallery

1985: Fischbach Gallery

1984: Harris Gallery, Houston, Tx

1984: William Sawyer Gallery

1983, 1982: Fischbach Gallery

1981: William Sawyer Gallery

1980,1979: Tortue Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1976, 1975: William Sawyer Gallery

1973, 1972: William Sawyer Gallery


Selected Group Exhibitions

2017: SHIFT / with Elizabeth Barlow, Kim Frohsin, Erin Parrish, Irene Zweig, Andra Norris Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2015: REAL with Elizabeth Barlow Gallerie Citi, Burlingame, CA.

2014: Stillness and Activity / A father and daughter exhibition, Gallerie Citi, Burlingame, CA.

2013: Outwin Boocher Portrait Competition 2013 Exhibition” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Hey Everybody / Portraits, Diablo Valley College

2012: Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge”, George Krevsky Gallery, S.F., CA.

Introduction Two/  Gallerie Citi, Burlingame, CA.

2011: California: A Landscape of Dreams/ Fresno Art Museum

2010: Self Portrait Invitational/ Julie Nester Gallery, Park City UT

2009: On Beauty /I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA.

2008: At Water’s Edge / I. Wolk Gallery,  St. Helena, CA.

2007: San Francisco Scenes/ George Krevsky Gallery, S.F., CA

Ten Years- A Retrospective/ Dolby Chadwick Gallery, S.F., CA.

2006: Our Planet, Our Home/ SFMOMA Artists Gallery, S.F. CA

2005: 2005 Spring Group Show/ Earl McGrath Gallery, L.A., CA

2002: H2O’02, Paintings of Water/  Fischbach Gallery, NYC

Scene in Oakland 1852-2002 Oakland Museum Oakland, CA

The Garden/ Art Foundry Gallery, Sacramento, CA

The Moving Still Life/ Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

Bay Area Printmakers/ works from Trillium Press,

Art Foundry Gallery, Sacramento, CA

California Landscape Paintings/ College of Marin Art Gallery, Kentfield, CA

Bay Area Printmakers/ SF Museum of Modern Art/Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Visions: Northern California/ Bank of America, San Francisco, CA

2001: Opening Exhibit:  Group Show, Fischbach Gallery, NY, NY

2000: Hackett Freedman Gallery Artists/ Shasta College Art Gallery, Redding, Ca

1999: Homage to the Art Institute, Artists Who Transformed American

Culture, Hackett Freedman Gallery,  San Francisco, CA

1999: What is Art For? What are Museums For? What are You For?                                     curated Curated for the Oakland Museum by William T. Wiley & Mary                            Hull Webster, Oakland, CA           

1998: Paintings of Marin County Past and Present/ The North Point Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1997: 10th Anniversary Exhibition/  Hackett Freedman Gallery, S.F., CA

1996: Rediscovering the Landscape of the Americas/ Gerald Peters                                      Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (traveling exhibition)

Contemporary American Realist Painters/  Halls Crown Center Gallery, Kansas City, MO

1996: Foundation for the Future: Celebrating 125 Years at the San Francisco Art Institute/ One Bush St., S.F., CA

1996: New Work by Selected Gallery Artists, Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Los Angeles, CA            

Flower Paintings/ Contemporary Realist Gallery, S.F., CA

1995: Facing Eden: 100 Years of Landscape Art in the Bay Area / De Young Museum, S.F., CA

Contemporary Still Life Painting/ David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, MI                                                                

1994: Still Life/ Fischbach Gallery, New York City, NY

New Bay Area Painting/ Contemporary Realist Gallery, S.F., CA

A Room with a View/ The North Point Gallery, S.F., CA

1993: Bay Area Painting/ Contemporary Realist Gallery, S.F., CA

Vanishing Point: A Look at Contemporary Landscape Painting”,

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

Tribute/ William Sawyer Gallery, S.F., CA

Revolution: Into the 2nd Century at the San Francisco Art                                                 Institute, One Market Plaza, S.F., CA

Contemporary Realism: Central and Northern California                                                 Landscapes/ Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA

The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism / a traveling                                                 exhibition curated by Alan Gussow and Babcock Galleries, N.Y., NY

1992: A Day in the Country, California Landscape Painting / I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

West Art and the Law/ Weat Publishing Co., St. Paul, MN(traveling ex.) The New York Academy of Art, New York, NY

In Support of Contemporary Bay Area Artists / One Market Plaza,                                     S.F., CA

1991: The Landscape in 20th-Century American Art: Selections from the

Metropolitan Museum of Art/ New York, NY, National Traveling Exhibit                                                                               

1990: Contemporary Landscapes/ 21st Anniversary Exhibition

Tortue Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

1990: New Bay Area Painting Contemporary Realist Gallery, S.F., CA

1989: The Modern Pastoral/ Robert Scholekopf Gallery, New York, NY

1988: Images of the Land/ William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1988: Ten Artists from the William Sawyer Gallery / Shasta College Gallery, Redding CA

Works on Paper/ William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1987: The Contemporary American Landscape/  Swain Gallery, NJ

1986: Landscape, Seascape, Cityscape/ Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA

1985: The Bay Area Seen/ Bay Area Regionalists Show, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

Large Scale/ Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

A City Collects/ Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, CA

American Realism/ William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1984: San Francisco Bay Area Painting/ curated by George Neubert for the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE

American Landscape Painting/ California State University, L.A. CA

Western Landscape Painters/  The Museum of the West, Houston, TX                                                       

The Urban Landscape / One Market Plaza, San Francisco, CA

1982: Collectors Gallery 16/  McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, TX

Thirty Approaches to Realism/  William Sawyer Gallery, S.F., CA

1981: Views of California Past and Present/ Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA

Landscapes/ Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

110th Anniversary S.F. Art Institute Alumni Group Show/

William Sawyer Gallery, S.F., CA

1980: Realism/ Walnut Creek Civic Arts Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

1979: Bay Area Artists Exhibition/Sale/ Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

Omnium Gatherum/ Tortue Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

California Viewpoints/ Sunne Savage Gallery, Boston, MA

1978: New Work/ Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, CA

Images of the Land/ William Sawyer Gallery, S.F., CA

1977: Contemporary California Artists/ Marshall-Meyers Gallery

Alternative to the Whitney Annual/ James Yu Gallery, N. Y, N.Y.                    

San Francisco Art Festival/ ( Airport Competition Purchase Prize)

1977: Eight Young Americans/ Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair,NJ

1976: Three From California/ Francine Sedars Gallery, Seattle, WA

Faculty Show/ California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA

1975: Realism in Painting and Ceramics/ Helen Euphrat Gallery,

De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

1975: A Tribute to the Art Institute/ Hansen Fuller Gallery, S.F., CA

California Artists/ Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT

1974: Our Land, Our Sky, Our Water/ by Alfred Frankenstein                                                      Expo 74, Spokane, WA

A Sense of Place/ curated by Alan Gussow for the Joslyn                                                 Museum, Omaha, NE

The Discovery Gallery, Montclair, N.J.

1973: College of Marin Gallery, Kentfield, CA

California Artists/ Kaiser Center, Oakland, CA

1972: Visiting Artists/ California State University, Hayward, CA

1970: Drawing Invitational/ Emanuel Walter Gallery,

San Francisco Art Institute, S.F., CA

1970: San Francisco Art Institute Centennial Exhibition,

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, S.F., CA

1967: Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art Annual,

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, S.F., CA

1966: California Landscape Painters/ San Francisco Art Institute, S.F. CA.



Selected Collections


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Oakland Museum

The Utah Museum of Fine Art

San Francisco Art Commission

Shaklee Corporation

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, CA

Kemper Insurance Company, Long Grove, Il

Morrison and Foerester, San Francisco, CA

SSI Container Corporation, San Francisco, CA

San Francisco International Airport

Oxford Petroleum Company, Houston,TX

California First Bank, San Francisco, CA

United Pipeline, Houston, TX

Security Pacific National Bank, S.F., CA

Crocker Bank, Los Angeles, CA

Visa Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Atlantic Richfield Corporation

Shell Oil, Houston, TX

First National Bank of Seattle

RREEF Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Texas Heritage Society

Genstar Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Sohio Corporation

Skidmore Owings and Merrill, N.Y.C., NY

Chemical Bank, NY

Swissre Corporation, NY

The Insurance Company of North America

First National Bank of Midland, Texas

Commerce Bank

AMA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Hughes Tool, Houston, TX


Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, San Francisco, CA

IBM  Corporation, San Jose, CA

Northern Trust Company, Chicago, IL

Smith Kline and French Corp., Philadelphia, PA

Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, CA

Republic National Bank


Trammel Crow Company, Dallas, CA

U.S. Insurance Group, N.J.

Southwestern Bell Corp., MO

Union Bank

Pacific Bell

United States Trust Company, NY

The United Bank of Denver, CO

Cigna Corp., Philadelphia, PA

Atlantic Richfield Corp., Los Angeles, CA

Show, Pittman, Pots and Trobridge, Washington, DC

San Francisco Zen Center

Hughes Aircraft Co. Los Angeles, CA

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M), St. Paul, MN

Bank of America, NY

Commerce Bancshares, Inc., Kansas City,MO

Robinson Humphrey/American Express, Atlanta, GA

Merrill Lynch, San Francisco, CA

Goldman Sachs, NY

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., NY

Victoria Bank and Trust, Victoria, TX


Coca Cola, U.S.A., Atlanta, GA

TransAmerica Corporation

Pacific Telesis Group

Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison                                                                                                  

Exxon Corporation 

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