DOROTHY HOOD (b.1918, Bryan, Texas) 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, and finally Houston. She exhibited widely in Mexico City which led to an acquisition by Museum of Modern Art, NY and a solo exhibition at the legendary Willard Gallery in New York in 1950. Talented and quick-witted, while in Mexico Hood was befriended by leading artists and intellectuals such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Leonora Carrington, Pablo Neruda, and José Clemente Orozco. In 1946, she married famed Bolivian composer and conductor José María Velasco Maidana.
In 1962, Hood moved to Houston and started teaching at the School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Moving into a new, larger, light-filled studio in the late 60’s, Hood felt emboldened to scale-up her work with a body of paintings measuring as large as 8 by 12 feet, ultimately creating the works of art which would again garner her national attention with 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 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.
On Dorothy Hood’s Collages:
"Following a 1981 trip to Egypt, where she amassed handfuls of beautifully printed papers, Dorothy Hood launched into a series of collages that were to occupy her for more than a decade. She found in collage an intimate, creative outlet that was less demanding than her large canvases, and she also appreciated the lineage of collage in both Cubist and Surrealist art. Reviewing Hood’s first exhibition of these new works in 1982, Mimi Crossley observed, “They are put together in surrealist compositions—a surrealism not made by juxtaposing images full of content, but created by placing shapes on shapes, texture against color, until a dreamlike world is born in toto.
Hood’s first collages tended to be vertical, with a compositional flow that was not dissimilar to her paintings. As the series evolved, however, Hood began to insert increasingly narrative elements."
-excerpt from MFAH pamphlet for Kindred Spirits:Louise Nevelson & Dorothy Hood