Artwork by Lois Dodd, 96, on display in North Haven
NORTH HAVEN — On view in the Hopkins Wharf Gallery from July 23 to August 5, 2023, an exhibition by Lois Dodd celebrates the work of the 96-year-old artist.
Lois Dodd paints with oil on Masonite, aluminum flashing, and on wooden panels. She chronicles scenes of the everyday, revealing the beauty of shadow and line with efficiency and a candid aptitude to reintroduce scenes familiar but often overlooked. For Dodd, the everyday is not merely an accessible subject but one captivating, fascinating, and worthy of study, according to Alexandre Gallery New York, in a news release. The 13 pieces highlight Dodd’s appreciation for landscapes and moments of unassuming importance around her — many of which were painted from her home in Cushing, where the artist spends the warmer months.
In a review for the Wall Street Journal, critic William Spiegelman writes, “Ms. Dodd remains singularly herself throughout a long life of artistic experimentation.” Through subject, style, and technique, “Ms. Dodd’s best work combines order and disorder with complex charm.”
Born in New Jersey in 1927, Dodd studied at the Cooper Union before becoming a founding member of the Tanager, the Greenwich Village gallery located in the epicenter of Abstract Expressionism. The gallery was formed, in part, to display the artist’s work among friends and contemporaries like Charles Cajori and Angelo Ippolito. Taking respite from the city alongside friend and artist Alex Katz, Dodd found inspiration alongside the coast of Maine. The dynamic climate, modest New England architecture, and lush views from her bedroom window provided much content for her work. Dodd co-owned a house in Lincolnville with Katz and artist Jean Cohen for a decade before purchasing her own property in Cushing. During this time, Dodd transformed her usual artistic method, now working outdoors and foregoing her previous habit of painting from drawings.
While the artist’s work is often joyous and colorful, her scenes remain rooted in an alluring representativeness. Dodd seems to find little reason to deviate far from what she sees in front of her — the mundane is worth capturing not in spite of its simplicity but because of it. The foundation of Dodd’s work is found in what she refers to as “American ruins” — weathered farmhouses, barns, and shingled outhouses. The artist’s appreciation for the natural world and fascination with the framing of windows, as well as the ever-changing view from her bedroom, run through much of her oeuvre.
Dodd’s work is represented by the Alexandre Gallery, New York. Her work is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine and the Portland Museum of Art. Her most recent exhibit, Lois Dodd: Natural Order, featured over 70 works at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“How do you find out who you are if it isn’t from other people?
But you have to have something that you don’t ask anybody else about. I’ve always been aware of that with painting. No one else can really help you… it’s just you and it…”
Lois Dodd “Beer With a Painter” Hyperallergic.com, March 28, 2015
This exhibition is organized by Robert Gober. Gober was born in 1954 in Wallingford, Connecticut. He studied English literature and art at Middlebury College in Vermont and the Tyler School of Art in Rome, and moved to New York in 1976. Gober began showing his work regularly in 1984, and began curating exhibitions in 1986. He has had numerous one person exhibitions nationally and internationally, notably at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Serpentine Gallery in London, Schaulager in Basel, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2014-2015. He represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2001. Gober’s curatorial projects have been shown at Cable Gallery, New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, The Menil Collection, Houston, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gober created a three story permanent installation in the Haunted House at the Fondazione Prada, Milan that opened in May 2015. In autumn 2016, new sculptures by Gober were included in the Artangel exhibition at the Reading Prison in England. Glenstone in Potomac, Maryland opened a long-term pavilion of his work in 2018. He lives in New York and Maine with his partner, Donald Moffett, and their dog.