Self-taught as a painter, Dean participated in the mainstream art world but always remained somewhat on its fringes. Following his receipt of a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin in 1956, Dean worked as a mining engineer in Brazil, Montana and Nevada. Within a few years, he began painting, devoting himself to art following his return to New York in 1962. Best known for social satires filled with figures, the artist started painting landscapes in 1977 to document the beauty around his upstate New York home before it was spoiled by a power line. In this composition, the modest Doove Kill stream, edged in poppies, is pictured quietly flowing through a culvert. Dean’s use of gestural brushstrokes, complex composition and almost hallucinogenic clouds endows his composition with energy and emotion.
Recto: "P. Dean"; Verso: "Doovekill Poppies/ Oil/66 x 80, Peter Dean"