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 moonlit skies and views through interior windows. She often returns to familiar motifs repeatedly at different times of the year with dramatically varied results.
The critic Roberta Smith wrote in March 2013: “Ms. Dodd loves the observed world, the vagaries of nature and the specificities of old Maine houses: the way they cleave to the ground, or fill a picture frame, or shine, lights on or off, in the moonlight. She always searches out the underlying geometry but also the underlying life, and the sheer strangeness of it all.”
Lois Dodd studied at the Cooper Union in the late 1940s. In 1952 she was one of the five founding members of the legendary Tanager Gallery, among the first artist-run cooperative galleries in New York. Dodd is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy. In 1992 she retired from teaching at Brooklyn College. Since 1954 her work has been the subject of over fifty one-person exhibitions. In 2012, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art organized a retrospective of Dodd’s work which traveled to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. In 2017 she was the subject of a monograph published by Lund Humphries with text by Faye Hirsch.