‘In Pursuit of Imperceptibility’

A life’s work

Selected by curator Cristina Burke-Trees

                                                     Launch Date to be announced



London, Huston 1935


Royal Air Force

Royal College of Art

Represented in Collections

Arts Council of Great Britain, London

Brighton Art Gallery

British Council, London

Cabinet des Estampes, National Museum, Geneva

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Juana Mordo, Madrid

Malmö Museer, Malmö

Monmouth Education Authority, Wales

Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires

National Museum of Israel, Jerusalem

Newport Art Gallery

Rikshospitalet, Medisink Bibliotek, Oslo

SKTF, Stockholm

Södertälje Stad

Stockholmes Stad, Kulturroteln

Sultanate of Brunei, New Istana Palace, Brunei

Svenska Handelsbanken, Stockholm

Usher Art Gallery, Lincoln

Victoria and Albert Museum, London


1965  Chester Beatty Institute, London

1967  Ashgate Gallery, Farnham

1967  Mus. of Modern Art, Buenos Aires

1968  Fulham Gallery, London

1969  Clytie Jessop Gallery, London

1970  York Art Centre, York

1970  Skånska Konstmuseet, Lund

1970  Hagahuset, Göteburg

1970  Galleri Prisma, Stockholm

1970  Konstnärsföreningen, Västerås

1971  Derwent College, York University

1972  York Art Centre, York

1972  Sertälje Konsthall, Södertälje

1972  Elvaston Gallery, London

1973  Galleri G, Stockholm

1973  Gallery Paramedia, West Berlin

1973  Gallery Jaqueline Storme, Lille

1973  Amos Anderson Mus. Helsinki/Hel.

1973  Surrey University, Guildford

1974  Chapel Gallery, York Minster, York

1974  Galleri Johan Galtung, Oslo

1974  Galleri Victoria, Göteburg

1976  Kulturhuset, Stockholm

1977  Galleri International, Stockholm

1977  Galleriet, Lund

1977  Galleri Johan Galtung, Oslo

1977  Galleri Victoria, Göteborg

1977  Galleri Nini, Oslo

1979  Consort Gall., Imperial Coll. Lon.

1979  Victoria and Albert Museum, Lon.

1980  Galleri St Lucas, Uppsala

1980  Galleri Ippon, Malmö

1981  Lintas, Stockholm

1985  British Council Colombo, Sri Lanka

1985  Arbour Fine Art, Singapore

1986  Galleri Victoria, Goteborg

1987  Galleri Bing, Kungsbacka

1987  Galleri PS30, Oslo

1988  Galleri Victoria, Göteborg

1988  Galleri Bing, Kungsbacka

1988  Galleri Petterson, Tönsberg

1989  Galleri V.Hamngatan, Göteborg

1990  Mazinski Fine Art, Malmö

1992  Tower Bridge Piazza, London

1994  New Mill Gallery, Norwich

1996  Seymour Gallery, Totnes

1998  Galleri VH, Göteborg

1998  Galleri Opus, Borgeby

1998  Galleri Bluelight, Malmö

1999  Boverket, Karlskrona

1999  Galleri Egertz, Värnamo

1999  Bryggeriet Konsthall, Trelleborg

2000  Galleri Bacchus, Borås

2001  Gal. Rönnqvist & Rönnqvist Malmö

2001  Osby Konsthall, Osby

2003  Hopkins Gallery, Newton Abbot

2004  Oyster Gallery, Torquay

2006  Gallery Terracina, Exeter

2010  Torre Abbey, Torquay

2012  High Cross House, Dartington

A short extract from the forthcoming publication:

DICK BIXBY ‘In pursuit of imperceptibility’ - a life’s work

“……..Richard (Dick) Stanley Bixby was born in 1935 in London. His father a Jazz musician was working as a civilian transport operator for the RAF during the World War II. Times were hard and evenings were spend assembling Chemistry sets around the kitchen table supplementing the family income. Encouraged by his father and uncles, Dick learned to play the accordion and developed a love for music and rhythm. Fascinated by planes Bixby was keen to join the RAF when the opportunity for a place as apprentice jet engine technician was offered to him circa 1953. Within three months he was deployed to a British airbase in Singapore.

On leaving the RAF he traveled by motorbike to Sweden, joined a traveling circus, but most of all he painted and drew the landscape surrounding him.

With a five-year scholarship Bixby was invited to attend the Royal College of Art. Immediately his interests started to diversify perhaps inspired by the ease with which Sir Hugh Casson moved so successfully between the disciplines of architecture, art, design and media. A friendship started between the two men.

Days on end spent in London’s museums Bixby noticed that Leonardo da Vinci was not terribly good at painting feet, while Egon Schiele seemed to manage to depict the perfect foot with a few marks. Intrigued by this finding and in typical Bixby fashion, he started to investigate the mechanical workings of foot and ankle and the human ability to walk upright. Bixby theorized that the mechanism of human gait has substantial design faults.

Oswald’s bi-pedal gait started to emerge. To begin with, the kinetic construction of a robotic man possessed his full attention The challenges of a physical construction of the Robot required continued sketching, design and re-design of electronic circuits and detailed construction plans until Oswald was moving and complete. Significantly ‘Oswald and Dog’ was exhibited for the first time in the exhibition ‘Play Orbit’ at the ICA, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art in 1969.

The apparent beauty of these entirely technical drawings of the inner workings of Oswald’s electronics and technical construction started to appear in Bixby’s study of the human form and elsewhere. The combination of depicting outward appearance with what are ordinarily and in every sense of the word, hidden mechanics became Bixby’s artistic and emotional language….”


This exhibition is under development and will feature Bixby’s early drawings of nudes and cybernetic diagramms that are leading us into his latest series of paintings ‘Crypto - and the process of perception’.

An accompanying publication is under development.


Bixby’s career stretches from the nineteen-sixties with work in many media and his output is still prolific today.

‘Life and all the phenomena of life suggest sources of picture-making to him’.

             R.C.Kenedy V & A Museum London 1977

Already by 1967 his work was of quality, quantity and interest to earn him a one man-show in Argentina’s National Gallery in Buenos Aires. After his participation in the Open Book Show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1978, much of his career was spent outside the UK.

Many of his works have been acquired for the collections of the Arts Council, the British Council, Switzerland’s National Museum in Geneva and the National Museum of Israel in Jerusalem, among many others.

Since his return to the UK, Bixby has continued his work with unchanged curiosity, passion and intense painterly skill.

The exhibition will reflect on Bixby’s early drawings of nudes combined with diagrams and electronic circuit patterns, leading to the fascinating drawings and lithographs of ‘Fine Lines’, first presented in the Victoria and Albert Museum in the ‘Open and closed Book’ exhibition in 1978.

The second part of the exhibition will lead us into ‘Crypto’. The process of perception that has fascinated Bixby for many years and inspired his latest work.

This interest led him to the 14th and 15th Century tradition of religious painters who made a series of paintings to go round the church. Perhaps nine separate images would surround the major panel or altarpiece.

Churchgoers (in other words everyone) would understand the meaning of each of these scenes, and how they added to the meaning of the main painting. The average person no longer understands the symbolic meaning of such images. If a dialogue can be established between viewers and the works of art, now just as in medieval times, then viewers learn about themselves through their aesthetic response.

The exhibition will be offered for hire through the Touring Exhibition Group (TEG) and. The show will be made available as a whole exhibition or as two separate exhibitions according to the site-specific requirements of the hosting venues.

For all enquiries or advanced booking please contact:

Cristina Burke-Trees

0041(0)1392 412313


IMAGES © Dick Bixby

TEXT © Cristina Burke-Trees 2013

Please note that none of the paintings or drawings are for sale.

Polyptych, 2005, oil and vinyl on canvas, 128 x 170cm, Bixby archive

Detail of Polyptych, 2005, oil and vinyl on canvas, 128 x 170cm, Bixby archive

From Lithograph folio ‘Fine Lines‘1977, 53 x 66cm,

Bixby archive

Figure Drawing III 1978/2005, Pen and ink on paper,

75.5 x 56.5cm, Bixby archive