Catching the Light

Door, Staircase, 1981, oil on linen, 60" x 40"

Men's Shelter, April, 1968, oil on linen, 47.5" x 39.25"

Night Sky Loft, 1972-73, oil on linen, 66" x 54"

Road into Long Cove Quarry, 1989, oil on linen, 78" x 35.5"

Self Portrait, 1989, oil on Masonite, 16.75" x 14.75"

Snow Patterns, 1983, oil on linen, 56" x 40"

View through Elliot's Shack Looking South, 1971, oil on linen, 53" x 36"

SHOWCASE – November, 2012

At the Portland Museum of Art, a retrospective of Lois Dodd’s career celebrates 60 years of work.  


For six decades, Lois Dodd has painted the world around her—from her apartment building in New York City to the natural landscapes of Maine. The exhibition Lois Dodd: Catching the Light is the first career retrospective for the artist and will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art beginning in January. The exhibition will feature more than 50 paintings spanning six decades.

Born in 1927 in Montclair, New Jersey, Dodd first moved to New York as a student at the Cooper Union. She studied there from 1945 to 1948, a time when New York emerged as the postwar art capital of the world and abstract expressionism flourished. In 1952 she was the only female cofounder of the Tanager Gallery. She later taught at Brooklyn College for 25 years. Rather than turn to abstraction, minimalism, or Pop, Dodd has remained faithful to painting her immediate surroundings throughout her career, whether a country landscape or an interior view.

In the later half of the twentieth century, Dodd became part of the wave of New York modernists to explore the coast of Maine. Like Fairfield Porter, Rackstraw Downes, Neil Welliver, and Alex Katz (with whom she shared a house), Dodd spent her summers in Maine, starting in 1951. Attracted by the inexpensive but rambling old farmhouses, endless woods, stone quarries, and the bright sunshine, Dodd and her fellow artists sought both companionship and escape from the demands of city life.

Dodd currently resides in both New York and Maine, and to this day can be found trekking through the fields and forests with canvas and painting supplies in hand. She often works en plein air, starting paintings on-site in the woods or other locations and finishing them in her studio. Dodd often returns to the same locations and views to explore them at different times of day and year.

Here, we share with you a preview of the retrospective.

Lois Dodd: Catching the Light will be on view January 17 to April 7, 2013, at the Portland Museum of Art.

Visit for more.