Allium Seed Head, 15in x 15in © Lois Dodd, courtesy of Alexandre Gallery
I first met Lois Dodd when I was an artist in residence at The Vermont Studio Center. After listening to her speak about her work I then had the joy of a studio visit with her. At that moment in my art career, I had been out of Graduate school for two years and was seriously thinking of putting my talents to a new use, where I would not have to worry about a pay check. Textile design was on my mind, so when I learned in Lois's lecture at one time she had been a textile designer, I couldn't wait to speak with her. To make a long story short, she looked at my work and I bravely asked what she thought of me becoming a textile designer, her reply was simple. She said I would never be happy as a textile designer, I was a painter. I was not expecting those words, they were food for thought. Fast forward five years, I am still painting and found myself face to face with Lois again. Lois was the current juror for the show in NYC I was just in. Though she did not remember me, I got to speak to her again and had the privilege to see her work in person for the first time at Alexandra Gallery.
The show closed yesterday, I am a little late with this blog post, forgive me. To say the least I cannot wait for next opportunity to see Lois's work again. I discovered Lois's work to be enchanting in its simplicity, fresh with every brush stroke, and pure in color. The clarity in these paintings allows them to be accessible and welcoming to any viewer. To put it simply they are a delight, to my eyes, and even though these paintings almost appear under painted they are extremely complicated. I could stare at each painting for hours and discover something new. The airiness is a wonderful breath of air leading you through each painting. The only negative to the show is I couldn't afford to buy a painting to hang on my wall at home and stare at.
I will leave you with this note. I have had the privilege of listening to Lois speak about her work twice now, and as her her work appears simple at first, only later to show its layers, so is Lois Dodd herself.
Pink Scabiosa, Back View, 14in x 16in. © Lois Dodd, courtesy of Alexandre Gallery
Four fun facts on Lois Dodd I learned from attending two of her lectures:
- Lois established Tanager Gallery in 1952 with artist's Charles Cajori, Angelo Ippolito, William King, and Fred Mitchell where she exhibited until 1962. Members of the gallery included American Realists Alex Katz and Philip Pearlstein
- She prefers to paint on Masonite.
- She puts very little paint on her palette.
- After attending Cooper Union, Lois was at one time a textile designer, but her love of painting won out.
Red Poppies and House, 14in x 6in. © Lois Dodd, courtesy of Alexandre Gallery