Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Painter's Shadow

Lois Dodd "September Light"  2008

Lois Dodd has been painting steadily and happily since she first attended the Cooper Union in the 1940's. Although her strangely minimal Wikipedia biography calls Dodd an Abstract Expressionist, the work of hers I am familiar with is all representational.  Dodd paints pared-down but sun-drenched scenes of her surroundings, mostly landscapes, sometimes with figures, with occasional forays into still life and even, more rarely, pure whimsy.

Lois Dodd "Liberty Painting in NY Harbor" 2002

Now in her mid 80s, Dodd seems artistically undeterred by age and is still turning out elegantly composed, poetically abbreviated scenes of everyday life. There is something about her paintings, and about the artist personally, that everyone seems to like. Mention Lois Dodd in any gathering of artists and half the folks there will sigh appreciatively and say, "Oh, I just love her work!" and the other (lucky) half will simultaneously be smiling and saying, "Oh I just love HER!" Dodd has taught at Brooklyn College, the Vermont Studio School and Skowhegan, amongst other places. She exhibits with the Alexandre Gallery in NYC and the Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, Maine.

Lois Dodd  "Shadow with Easel"  2009

Despite Dodd's integral and energetic presence in the American art scene over many decades and through two centuries, the artist only recently received her first retrospective museum show this year, in 2012. Lois Dodd: Catching the Light was on view at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri from May 18 to August 26, 2012. The exhibit will travel to the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine where it will be on view from January 17 to April 7, 2013.

1 comment:

Jeff Thomsen said...

I'm one of the ones who sigh and say "I just love her work." The disarming simplicity of her work, her gentle approach, and her bright palette always comes across as completely honest. It works when she paints the shadow of herself painting or when she paints a broken window. Thanks for posting her work, Nancy Bea.

Jeff Thomsen