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Lois Dodd, long an artist’s artist, is finally in the spotlight in her 90s

2 min read  · 30 May 2023

Lois Dodd, Sycamore Seed Head (2022). Copyright the artist, courtesy of Alexandre Fine Art

Lois Dodd, an artist’s artist known for her fresh and intimate paintings of everyday places and things, is on the HENI News radar as she enjoys late-career success.

Dodd’s HENI Score —a unique artist sentiment—has soared by 171%, boosted by solo museum shows in the US, a retrospective planned in The Netherlands, and rising auction results for the 95-year-old painter.

Dodd has been painting her surroundings in her New York studio, weekend home in New Jersey and summer home in Maine for decades but her small, naturalistic paintings have only now started to sell for a high price at auction or attract curators' interest.

Over the past two years the total for her work sold at auction was $56,200 but that has now changed. In May 2023, Dodd’s Burning House With Clapboards (2017) sold for $215,900 at Phillips, more than two and a half times its upper estimate.

Dodd has been showing with Alexandre Gallery for the past two decades. Her New York dealer has organized several gallery shows of her work and presented them on a solo booth at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2022.

Dodd’s paintings have sold for between $8,000 and $30,000 in the past three years.

Dodd is among a number of female artists who have long been admired by fellow artists but overlooked by museum curators and the art market for much of their careers.

Born in 1927, she was one of the five founding members of the Tanager Gallery (1952-62), a pioneering artist-run space in New York. She also taught at Brooklyn College, all the time creating intimate, closely observed paintings of interiors, landscapes and still-lifes.

In 2018, artist Robert Gober, a long-term admirer, purchased a painting by Dodd in order to donate it to New York’s Museum of Modern Art, thereby filling a gap in it and the city's public collections. The omission was “pathetic if not borderline repulsive”, he told the New York Times. The artist Alex Katz is another fan. His foundation has been buying Dodd’s paintings and donating them to museums in Maine, the NYT reported.

Lois Dodd, Laundry Line, Red, White, Black Pitchfork (1979). Copyright the artist, courtesy of Alexandre gallery

Collectors Andy and Christine Hall are champions of Dodd’s work, organising a solo show at their foundation in Vermont, which included paintings of a humble laundry line in a backyard, rooms inside her home and studio on the Lower East Side and landscapes rapidly painted on the spot. The Hall’s show and their loans led to the survey show "Lois Dodd: Natural Order" at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, when it reopened in spring 2023. Dodd is due to have a major retrospective in the Kunstmuseum, The Hague (dates to be announced).

Dodd told the NYT she typically finishes a painting in a couple of hours in order to capture the quality of light before it changes. “I’ve always known when to stop,” she said, adding, “Less is more.”

To get a deeper understanding of Lois Dodd’s career visit her HENI Dashboard; a unique graphical data tool illustrating an artist’s auction sales, shows, profiles, mentions and their HENI Score. You can search for any one of the 100,000 Artist Dashboards to quickly appreciate their trajectory as well as sharing via email, text and WhatsApp.


Lois Dodd

New York