Dusti Bongé

Dusti Bongé (née Eunice Lyle Swetman, 1903–1993) was an American painter who worked from the 1930s through the early 1990s. She is considered Mississippi's first Abstract Expressionist painter and its first Modernist artist.

Dusti Bongé began her professional painting career in the mid-1930s. Initially, she depicted scenes of her native Biloxi, partly inspired by Archie’s depictions of the waterfront and cityscape. These included scenes at the Back Bay of Biloxi depicting seafood factories, shrimp boats, and fishing camps, as well as certain quintessentially local scenes of cemeteries, gazebos, and the ever Southern “Shoofly”. She also worked on still life compositions of everyday objects, seashells, fruit, vegetables, and local flowers. Although these early works are figurative and representational in nature, they already exhibit her innate ability to move from a realist to a much more modernist style. She played with geometry and color, creating brightly colored Cubist-inspired, yet still, objective, realist works.
 

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