Lois Dodd: An Introduction


Still Life by Lois Dodd, Courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York
Still Life by Lois Dodd, Courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York

Yes, landscapes are different every day, and at night. There are always events — some natural and some manmade — that take place. In “Self-Portrait in Green Window” (1971), I was interested in the window. I saw my reflection but didn’t notice the plant in front of the window until I was almost done, and considered whether I should put it in or not. I thought if I put it in, it would push the window back a bit. It gives the painting a little more space to stand.– Lois Dodd

Oneof the five founding members of the legendary Tanager Gallery, among the first artist-run cooperative galleries in New York, Lois Doddhas been making extraordinary paintings about place for more than 70 years. She works on site, and generally completes a painting in one sitting. This gives her painting an immediacy. Of this, she  has said, “I’m trying to get it down before the light shifts so much, the shapes change. I’m in a battle with time and light and that’s why they’re pretty much two- to three-hour paintings…” Her subjects are known to her, coming from the areas surrounding her homes in New York City, Coastal Maine, and the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey.

Lois Dodd at her studio in Maine, fall 2014 (© Alexandre Gallery, New York)
Lois Dodd in her studio, 2014

One of her motifs is windows, in which she often depicts interiors and exteriors, always with concerned with the detail of the thing she’s observing. Another motif is flowers. And houses, sometimes on fire. Her paint handling is understated. She builds paintings with thin layers, and modulates her color – using just enough saturation to convey her idea.

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, or say whether it’s good or bad. It’s just you and it, and that’s great. You can handle everything else in your life much more easily, because you have that place where you are on your own.– Lois Dodd, Hyperallergic, March 28, 2015


Lois Dodd, Jerusalem Artichokes, September, 2015. Oil on Masonite, 20 x 15 7:8 inches. Courtesy of Alexandre Gallery
Lois Dodd, Jerusalem Artichokes, September, 2015. Oil on Masonite, 20 x 15 7/8 inches.


WINDOW CROSSPIECE 2014 oil on masonite 12 x 12 inches ©Lois Dodd, courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York
WINDOW CROSSPIECE 2014 oil on masonite 12 x 12 inches



From Wikipedia:  Lois Dodd (born 1927 in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American painter.[1] Dodd was a key member of New York’s postwar art scene. She played a large part and was involved in the wave of modern artists including Alex Katz and Yvonne Jacquette who explored the coast of Maine in the latter half of the 20th century.

From Alexandre Gallery: For over fifty years Dodd (American, b. 1927) has painted her immediate everyday surroundings at the places she has chosen to live and work – the Lower East Side, rural Mid-Coast Maine and the Delaware Water Gap. Dodd’s small, intimately-scaled paintings are almost always completed in one plein-air sitting. Her subjects include rambling New England out buildings, lush summer gardens, dried leafless plants, nocturnal moonlight skies and views through interior windows. She often returns to familiar motifs repeatedly at different times of the year with dramatically varied results.



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