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Patricia Nix Portrait

Patricia Nix

Also Known as: Patricia Lea Nix

Texas 1938

Active in:

  • Lamesa, Texas
  • New York, New York

Photo Caption:
Photograph by Hans Namuth.

Luce Artist Quote

“[The boxes are] just like paintings except that you use real objects instead of recreating them in oil.” Patricia Nix, quoted in A Full House of Fantasy: The Work of Patricia Nix, 1986

Luce Artist Biography

Patricia Nix describes her work as a “dialogue between the conscious and unconscious.” She embraces accident to allow her unconscious mind to speak and hopes that her paintings and box constructions will evoke unexpected, personal associations. An only child, Nix entertained herself by creating a miniature world. She made a dollhouse from pieces of cardboard and used bits of cloth and broken sticks to make pieces of furniture when she was three years old. Nix began painting as an outlet while raising her three children. She then attended art classes in New Mexico and visited the artists’ colony in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Later she joined the Art Students League and attended the New School for Social Research. Nix identifies herself as a “compulsive junk collector,” with shelves and drawers filled with baby blocks, marbles, dolls, fabrics, and beads that she uses in her painted box constructions. She assembled her first box construction in 1972 because she wanted to find a use for a silver chest that had belonged to her mother.