American, born Germany
(Berlin, Germany, 1934 - 1993, New York, New York)
Self-taught as a painter, Dean participated in the mainstream art world but always remained somewhat on its fringes. He was born in Berlin; his family came to the United States to escape the Nazis. Dean initially supported himself as a mining engineer but gave up geology for art after his first solo show in New York in 1963. When New York was dominated by formalist, neutral Minimalism in the late 1960s, Dean joined with other figurative painters there to show figurative, expressionistic work protesting the Vietnam War. He exhibited in New York with Leon Golub, Peter Saul and Red Grooms and, in 1969, joined with six others painters to form a group called Rhino Horn that dissolved in 1975 after the war’s end. Dean continued to exhibit nationally in the 1980s, culminating in a retrospective at the North Dakota Museum of Art in 1989. He died four years later of Lou Gehrig’s disease.