b. Croton-on-Hudson, New York, 1922, d. 2004
Douglas Denniston (1922-2004) developed a distinct modernist style, absorbing the ideas and methodologies of the Transcendental Painting Group and forging his own path in painting and printmaking. Upon arriving in New Mexico in 1945, Denniston became immersed in the artistic community of Taos and studied with Raymond Johnson. Combining his modernist impulse with Southwestern art traditions and the colors of the Sonoran Desert, Denniston created poetic compositions. Through masterful use of color, bold forms of pure abstraction, and signature impasto brushwork, Denniston gained acclaim and showed alongside Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Harris, Agnes Martin, Enrique Montenegro, and Adja Yunkers. Moving to Colorado in 1949, Denniston never lost connection to the New Mexico though continued pushing forward to advance both in his own work and in his new artistic community. Denniston moved to Tucson to teach painting at the University of Arizona and maintained a lifelong exploration of abstraction. During the 1950’s, Denniston’s work was a cornerstone of several significant shows including American Watercolors, Prints and Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Young American Printmakers at MoMA. His work is in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum.