Lois Dodd

Lois Dodd: “No one else can really help you ...”

Paintings & Ephemera.

July 23 - August 5, 2023
Hopkins Wharf Gallery
North Haven, ME
Organized by Robert Gober
Lois Dodd: courtesy of Alexandre Gallery New York


Lois Dodd (b. 1927) has been chronicling the world around her for over five decades. Using oil on linen, Masonite, aluminum and wood panels, Dodd captures scenes of the everyday, revealing the beauty of shadow and line with efficiency and a candid aptitude to reintroduce scenes familiar yet often overlooked. For Dodd, the everyday is not merely an accessible subject, but one captivating and worthy of study. 

Dodd’s appreciation for landscapes and moments of unassuming importance around her emanates through her work — many of which were painted from her home in Cushing, Maine where the artist spends the warmer months or from her apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

Born in New Jersey in 1927, Dodd studied at the Cooper Union before becoming a founding member of the Tanager, the East Village gallery located at the heart of Abstract Expressionism. The gallery was formed, in part, to display the painter'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. 

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.”

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 plein-air painter’s appreciation for the natural world and fascination with the organic framing of windows, as well as the ever-changing view from her bedroom, run through much of her oeuvre. 

Dodd’s work has been represented in the Alexandre Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine and the Portland Museum of Art. Lois Dodd: Natural Order, an exhibit featuring over 70 works was recently featured at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut.