For its debut at The Art Show, McClain Gallery is pleased to present paintings and collages by Dorothy Hood (b. 1918, Bryan, Texas d. 2000, Houston, Texas), whose work combines color field techniques with painterly abstraction. The pictorial space and visual fissures of her large-scale paintings and works on paper recall a profound mind scape that echoes her early Surrealist influences from her time spent in Mexico in the 1940s-1960s. Having moved back to Houston in 1962, the impact of the space age and the fathoms of the cosmos were a further profound influence on Hood’s paintings. A beautiful trove of Hood’s lesser-known collages, rich in material experimentation, reveal a more intimate look at the artist’s process and inspirations.
By focusing on an edited group of collages, our presentation provides an introduction to Hood’s unique artistic vision and expands the understanding of her practice as a whole. A rare, small series titled “Shards of the Earth” from the 1980s can be viewed as a bridge between her painting practice and the collages. In these paintings, Hood includes fragments of canvas cut from parts of other paintings starkly set on dark, flat backgrounds. These “shards” of canvas replicate in part the geological elements that set apart her paintings, and evoke a fractured landscape, which features painterly techniques such as decalcomania and liquid pigment pours which are so paramount in her later works. The canvas fragments are combined with South American textiles in an exploration of texture, patterns, and color blocking. Aside from their textural complexity and narrative elements, the works provide an invitation to explore contemplative and imaginative worlds. The spatial expanses of the subconscious, the symbolic, and even spiritual realms echo throughout the entirety of the collage oeuvre.