"Usually my subject is something I see repeatedly and know in different lights, morning, afternoon or night light. It will have become familiar, knowable and visually clear. We live in nature and are a part of nature: paint is my preferred means of celebrating nature."
Lois Dodd, 2020
The gallery is pleased to present a series of oil on panel paintings made by Lois Dodd (American, b. 1927) over the winter of 2006. Given an Amaryllis bulb in the bud stage by the gallery that New Year’s, Dodd decided to follow the development in stages until the blossom was full, and then fading and drying. She recalls that at a certain point it became spectacular, very exciting to watch, and couldn’t be ignored. The paintings in this series present undulations of brilliant green leaves and stems, and flower petals in oscillating tones of red and pink against grounds of blue, green, orange and yellow. The careful subtleties of these representations highlight the judicious poeticism at the core of Dodd’s practice.
Dodd, whose career spans over sixty years, creates observational works laid out with thin layers of paint in simplified, dynamic compositions. Her quotidian subjects are the everyday environment of her studios in rural Maine, New York City and at the Delaware Water Gap. These commonly include the landscape, verdant gardens, New England outbuildings, interiors, and views in and out through windows and doorways. In 1952, soon after completing her studies at Cooper Union, Dodd became a founding member of the legendary Tanager Gallery, part of the first wave of avant-garde artist-run galleries on 10th Street in the East Village. Around the same time, she discovered summers in Maine with a group of young contemporary artists seeking respite from the city and subjects for their new form of representational work. Dodd’s work has been the subject of over seventy one-person exhibitions. Her recent monograph by Faye Hirsch, published by Lund Humphries, is available on-line through the gallery website.
"For years, Dodd had resisted painting flowers for fear of being stereotyped as a ‘lady’ painter, which she believed would hurt her career. She transforms even the ‘prettiest’ floral subjects, therefore, into something robust, training her structuring eye on flowers of a weedy nature, commonplace and under esteemed, such as thistles and cow parsnips…As time passed, she succumbed, as well, to gentler, more glamorous blooms—irises, tulips, and even gladioli, which she once dismissed as too showy and ‘rigid.’"
Faye Hirsch, 2017
“Ms. Dodd loves the observable world, the vagaries of nature and the specificities of old Maine houses: the way they cleave to the ground, or fill the picture frame, or shine, lights on or off, in the moonlight. She always searches out the underlying geometry but also the underlying life, and the sheer strangeness of it all.”
Roberta Smith, 2013
"She is not an impressionist or an expressionist, and she is a unique kind of realist, combining spontaneity with attention to essential detail. Dodd is her own woman, something of a loner, with deep friendships, and her personality seems reflected in her paintings."
Lucy Lippard, 2020
Checklist of Available Works