The exhibit, dedicated to women of abstraction, offers a glimpse into Dorothy Hood’s techniques of abstraction and bright color, coupled with meaningful messages.
Dorothy Hood (1918-2000), an iconic Texas artist, was born in Bryan, Texas, and would eventually move to Houston, which became a significant influence on her as she grew up and matured as an artist. During her early 20’s, she mixed with other influential artists, including Jose Clemente Orozco, Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, where she met her husband, Bolivian composer Velasco Maidana.
As an artist, her time spent in Mexico served as the catalyst for how well her work continues to resonate today. Her earlier work shows the influence of Surrealism that she became immersed in while living in Mexico and can be seen through her concentration on a world that was embracing of the inner workings of why and how a work of art was made. When she returned to Houston, a burgeoning hub of Texas Modernism in 1969, she reconnected with the world of art, which happened to correlate with the Houston Space Program. Her work exists from these influences to show an interest in time, space, and the vastness of “the void.”
Upon her death in 2000, Hood’s work had yet to gain the popularity it deserved, so the Art Museum of South Texas was approached by the Dorothy Hood Foundation, which was designed to place her work in significant institutions and collections for posterity. Hood exists as the greatest female artist working during the Modernist years in Texas, and the collection acquired by the Art Museum of South Texas is the largest portion of a single artist within the permanent collection.
In August of 2019, the Art Museum of South Texas was contacted by Suzanne Weaver, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art for the San Antonio Museum of Art’s Brown Foundation. She and her Assistant Curator, Lana Meador, were organizing the exhibition focusing on abstract art by Texas women, and they wanted to see the pieces from Dorothy Hood’s Modernist collection acquired by the Art Museum of South Texas. The 119-piece collection includes 52 drawings, 27 collages, 34 paintings, and 6 etching and lithograph prints.
Having Hood’s paintings, collages, and drawings alongside other modern and contemporary artists allows the visual dialogues of the abstract art world to continue. The two- and three-dimensional art displayed shows how the mind and dialogue of abstract artists resonate on many levels with a variety of approaches.
According to Deborah Fullerton, Curator of Exhibitions at the Art Museum of South Texas, “many of our partners are all engaged in sharing her life, her work, and her immense story for years to come.”