December 4, 2003 through January 14, 2004
Reception for the artist Thursday, December 4, from 5 to 7 pm
Click here for essay written by Deborah Weisgall
The gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Lois Dodd’s small paintings from the past ten years. The show, the first in New York devoted to Dodd’s plein-air pictures, will consist of 50 works of oil on masonite and plywood. It will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with text by Deborah Weisgall.
Lois Dodd is a painter drawn to the familiar. Her quotidian places include the Maine coast, western New Jersey and Manhattan. “There is something about knowing a place,” she says. “Over time you keep changing, you see things differently. And the various places I love to paint change as well.” The places that Dodd frequently portrays are gardens, falling down barns, ferry landings, roads, and woods, often falling into entropy brought on by both tumbledown neglect and fecund vegetation. It is a theme of transition and the forward motion of passing time.
Dodd regularly paints out-doors on portable panels of masonite and wood. She works rapidly laying in fluid brushstrokes of color. The quick hand of the artist is informed by years of reflection and observation of places and her place in them. Being in a place for a long time, noticing how the light changes through the day and through the seasons, how flora can overtake a place and the incursions of human interests.
In the painting, House at Orr’s Island, September 11, 2001, the golden light of the morning baths a house in a calm transcendental glow belying the later events of the day. It is a deeply personal commentary, but one that resonates with a larger understanding of a tranquil safety that has been destroyed. In Hackmatack from Leslie’s Garden, Dodd’s friend, garden writer Leslie Land’s cultivations are described. The luscious greens are interspersed with hits of color and the density of the foliage is organized with a formal probity that is lyrical.
The paintings serve as both a window out into Dodd’s world, her places and observations, as well a view inwards. She works in the present with an unsentimental eye, and a view toward the formal and the essential of her surroundings. Deborah Weisgall says in her essay, “These works are like small poems composed with deceptively simple words. They resonate long after we have absorbed their sense.”
Lois Dodd (b. 1927) studied at The Cooper Union in the late 1940s. In 1952 she was one of the five founding members of the legendary Tanager Gallery, the first artist run gallery in New York. It was also in the 1950s when she began spending her summers in Maine where she shared a summer studio with the painter Alex Katz. Dodd is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Since 1954 her work has been the subject of 48 one-person exhibitions. An exhibition of her recent figurative paintings and drawings entitled, “Lois Dodd Nudes in the Landscape,” is on view concurrently at the New York Studio School. www.nyss.org/dodd.
Also on view at the gallery: Brett Bigbee: Joe and James, 2002 - 2003. One new painting presented in advance of the artist’s forthcoming 2005 exhibition.
For further information, please contact Marie Evans or Ellen Robinson at 212.755.2828.