DOROTHY HOOD (b. 1918, Bryan, Texas, US; d. 2000, Houston, Texas, US) established herself as a pioneer of modernism from 1937, first as a scholarship student at the Rhode Island School of Design and briefly at the Art Students League in New York City, before settling in Mexico City in the 1940s. There, she would spend two decades embedded in the rich cultural fabric of a city in the midst of post-war and post-revolutionary bohemia. She befriended leading artists and intellectuals including Pablo Neruda, Jos Clemente Orozco, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Mathias Goeritz, Diego Rivera, and Rufino Tamayo.
In 1962 Hood returned to Houston and had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Witte Museum, San Antonio; Rice University, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; and her work is in the permanent collections of numerous American museums. During her lifetime, Hood’s work, from her formally rigorous yet metaphysical and intimate abstract paintings, to ink drawings on paper and collages, 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.
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). In the fall of 2018, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presented an exhibition entitled Kindred Spirits: Louise Nevelson & Dorothy Hood, mounting an unprecedented visual dialogue between the works of both artists. In 2019, McClain Gallery began representing the estate of the artist, held by the Art Museum of South Texas, and mounted a solo exhibition, Dorothy Hood: Illuminated Earth, and, in 2020, Dorothy Hood: Collage. In 2022, McClain Gallery mounted the group exhibition Cosmic Eye of the Little Bird, contextualizing the drawings of Dorothy Hood with the work of her contemporaries as well as younger artists.