What They Say About Dutterer


. . . His Work

I often told Bill he was my ideal of the dedicated artist.  He grew and changed and worked decade after decade with very little public recognition.

Grace Hartigan, Artist


In the visual world created by Bill Dutterer. . . throughout the four decades of his work, the time is always now and the space is invariably rational.  A richly animated vocabulary, visual and verbal, is often zany, if not wicked, and tweaked with skillful double—sometimes. 

. . . the “heads” seen in the sketchbooks of the ‘90s, would be drawn hundreds and hundreds of times, each time coaxing a bit more from the line, the form,, the possibilities for allusion; animation; narration; and for the content available in every variety of face-to-face interaction.

Dr. Rosemary Wright, Artist, Art Historian
Emeritus Head of Third Year Fine Arts, Corcoran School of Art


He was able to push . . .  to exhaustive variety. . . .  He was such a good example of someone who would just keep making art.  

I truly believe Bill got a great kick out of making his stuff and that’s so refreshing because so many people don’t.

Robert Stackhouse, Artist
Emeritus Chair, B. F. A. Program, Corcoran School of Art


Bill always liked Guston and liked Guston’s work. . . and made a similar turn. . . form abstraction back to figuration.

Robert Newmann, Artist


[Dutterer was] a formalist and an image maker, hooked into the world at large and the world within.”

Doug Lang, Artist


He was a painter’s painter, with eyes wide open to the medium’s possibilities.

Tom Green, Artist


Bill always seemed to find the perfect balance between abstraction and figuration, humor and tragedy, composition and process.  Beautiful paint, meet canny intellect.

Jack Rasmussen
Director of Art Gallery and Curator
The American University


Like much of his work, Bill Dutterer’s wrapped heads represent a stubborn search for slippery meaning, a fundamentally personal view of how knowledge is acquired, and an idiosyncratic if revealing approach to the facts and myths of seeing

Christian Viveros-Faune
Art Critic, Curator


His work neutralized the putative distinctions between decoration and depiction, between drawing and painting, and even between line and form or mass.

David Castriota
Professor, Art History
Sarah Lawrence College


[In his Tattoo:  Words and Images work] Dutterer rejoiced in rejecting erudite art dialogues in favor of the everyday people and places that made life rich.”

Ingrid Pimsner, Art Historian


The [wrapped heads are] political, but the thing that makes them so good to me, being a formalist, is that they’re well done.

Mark Anderson, Antique Restorer


The last work he did—the heads—they’re just incredible and they’re really political aside from pure art. . . . He had statements to make with his work.

Linda Green, Friend,
Wife of Artist Tom Green


. . . his life was informed and driven by his great capacity to let everything he appreciated flow into his work under the rigorous control of his artistic vision.

David Castriota,
Professor, Art History
Sarah Lawrence College


. . . Bill

His finger was on the pulse of his own soul and the collective heartbeat of the America outside the window.

Dr. Thomas J. Heffernan, Collector


[He was] not just an artist wholly dedicated to painting but also a man who approached life with fervor.

Caitlin Tucker-Melvin, Curator


He was a rich personality. . . .People gravitated toward him.

Bill’s interests were huge.  He had a broad interest in a lot of things.  But his likes in music were enormous.

He talked a lot about not having lost his West Virginia roots.  He hung on to them and liked it.  And I think people liked it in him.  A kind of Will Rogers kind of figure

Robert Newmann, Artist


The one thing that stood out to me from Bill was his ability to weave a story.  . . . every time he’d tell a story I’d just be rooted in it.  And they always had such incredible language—the way he would put phrases together. . . .When he told you a tale you could feel his background also along with all this other colorful stuff.  So it had lots of depth to it—which I think is very similar to his paintings.

. . . he had this amazing gift of gab that he could engage with anybody.  And yet he was incredibly reclusive.  You had to kind of piece together who he was.  It was almost like there was a thing there that would keep you away.  Maybe that’s what the deep diver is. . . down in his world but yet able to see all this stuff. 

Carol Mickett, Artist, Philosopher


As his work matured, his concern for the human condition generated powerful images painted Dutteristically with skill and humor.

[Bill’s] serious commitment to art was an energizing force to each of us individually and to the collective identity of the [Washington] art scene.    

Tom Green, Artist


Bill’s exuberant joy in doing his work is unforgettable.   He loved painting and believed in it.

James and Sandra Fitzpatrick, Collectors