Adine Stix (1909-1987)

  • Adine Stix was born in East Orange, New Jersey on March 17th, 1909.  Stix studied Fine Art at Skidmore College before moving to Greenwich Village in the 1940s, where she was influenced by Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline.  She worked alongside her husband, Hugh Stix, to develop The Artist’s Gallery in Manhattan in 1935, which helped to launch the careers of de Kooning and Louise Nevelson, among others. (Time Magazine featured The Artist’s Gallery, which helped launch the careers of many important American artists including Adolph Gottlieb and Ad Reinhardt.)

    In 1950, Stix married cowboy Les Sanborn and moved to Quail Canyon Ranch, near Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  The influence of the ever-changing colors of Pyramid Lake was an integral part of Stix's paintings. While living in this unique environment she reached the peak of her creativity, capturing her love of nature and the outdoors.  Having cut her teeth in the fast-paced art world of New York in the 1940s, it was in Nevada that Stix developed her own perspective and style.  Stix’s aesthetic was born from her Abstract Expressionist education in New York, painted through the inspired hand of a woman forging her own trail in the Nevada desert.  Not unlike Georgia O’Keefe’s transformation in the New Mexican desert just a decade earlier, Stix used the space and independence of the wilderness to come into her own as an artist.

    In 1959, the film “The Misfits,” starring Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, and Marilyn Monroe, was filmed on Stix’s ranch.  As part of the rental agreement, MGM built Stix a painting studio where she painted nearly all of the pieces featured in the Lost Art Salon collection.  

    Like others in the Abstract Expressionist movement, Stix used gesture, form, color, and texture for expression and symbolism. She was dedicated to the act of describing what she felt on canvas and the resulting paintings are vivid, intense, rhythmic and direct.

    Over the years, Stix and her art were profiled in the Reno Evening Gazette and the Nevada State Journal. She had shows at the Park Lane, Pinon, and the University of Nevada Art Galleries in Reno.

    Lisa Graeber, Stix's daughter, described her as an independent and enthusiastic risk taker. According to Lisa, Adine was never boring, was always a "doer" with boundless energy, and was direct in her relationships with others. When painting she would start early in the morning and work diligently through the day. If she was unhappy with a completed painting, she would simply paint over the canvas and start over.

    Adine Stix died in Ross, California on November 8, 1987. In addition to her daughter Lisa, she has a son, David, and two grandchildren, David Jr. and Deena.
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