1887 - 1970
The Irish artist and primitive landscape painter James Dixon was born on Tory Island, County Donegal, in 1887. Apart from an occasional visit to the mainland, he remained on the island all his life. He devoted himself to fishing and small farming. He only started painting at the age of 72, after seeing a British painter – Derek Hill – at work on a landscape painting. Apart from the occasional glimpse at paintings that some visitors to the island may have done, he was completely untutored.
Dixon’s first one-person show was held at the New Gallery, Belfast, in 1966. In 1967 there was an exhibition of his work at the Dawson Gallery, Dublin, followed by one in Vienna at the Autodidakt Gallery in 1968 and another at the Portal Gallery, London.