Dorothy Hood, Texas native and arguably the greatest Texas female artist, established herself as a formidable force in Modernist Art. Her paintings, drawings and collages draw inspiration from exploring the duality of the physical/ metaphysical world. She often described her work as the “landscape of her psyche.”
While formally trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Art Students League in New York, her move to Mexico City in the early 1940s served as a catalyst for her art and influence. She befriended leading artists and intellectuals including Pablo Neruda, Jose Clemente Orozco, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Mathias Goeritz, Diego Rivera, and Rufino Tamayo. She married Bolivian composer, José María Velasco Maidana, in 1946.
In 1961, Dorothy returned to Texas and created some of her most influential pieces. “These compositionally expansive, large-scale canvases of the early 1960s, which merge Color Field theory with rich post-painterly abstraction, place Hood among the few recognized American women of this time who painted at this scale and with such pioneering skill.” Her work evolved as she explored collages in the 1980s. Like her painting and drawings, her collages depicted ethereal multidimensional landscapes that were bold in color.
In 2001, the Art Museum of South Texas acquired a 119-piece collection includes 52 drawings, 27 collages, 34 paintings, and 6 etching and lithograph prints from the Dorothy Hood Foundation. AMST is the homes of the largest collection of Dorothy Hood’s work. The McClain Gallery in Houston, Texas houses pieces of her work for sale, and a substantial collection is on view at the University of Houston.
In 2016, the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST), Corpus Christi, organized a major retrospective of Dorothy Hood’s works and published a monograph about her life and career which culminated in the exhibition and book entitled The Color of Being/El Color del Ser: DOROTHY HOOD (1918-2000). Her work has been featured in exhibitions in Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Witte Museum, San Antonio; Rice University, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York. Hood’ work garnered an impressive exhibition history and support from influential critics, curators, and collectors including Philippe de Montebello, Dorothy Miller, Clement Greenberg, and Barbara Rose, among others.