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Born:1951, San Francisco, California
Has practiced at Creative Growth since 1986
Donald Mitchell, a San Francisco native, has practiced at Creative Growth Art Center since 1986. Mitchell's work began with dense abstract and cross-hatched fields of black lines or brush strokes that obliterated the paper and hid any trace of underlying image. Over time, Mitchell slowly uncovered the faces and forms buried in the darkness. His work then became populated by multiple figures that were autonomous or overlapping, and whose relationships became both dependent and independent of each other. These figures are consistently depicted with a large round head with simplified facial features on top of a thick body with peg-like arms and legs. Sometimes they are stacked so densely they resemble totems, and other times only a face rises to the surface in a field of dense linework. Mitchell's most recent work maintains the foundation of these anonymous figures, but has returned to large scale abstraction with late-career artist's skill. Mitchell's work has been exhibited at Collection de l'Art Brut; Switzerland, Gavin Brown's enterprise, Cavin Morris and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; Jennifer Lauren Gallery in London; and is included in the permanent collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
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