The Void in Art: Dorothy Hood's Contributions to Modern Art



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Dorothy Hood (August 27, 1919 - October 28, 2000), was a pivotal artist in the American and Mexican Modern art movements. Her work serves as one of, if not the first, bridges between Texan and Mexican modern art. Her vast oeuvre includes drawings and prints, Surrealist-style collages, and expansive paintings. There has been little scholarship on Hood's innovative artistic practice and how it married the figurative, mystical aspects of Mexican Surrealism and the vast expanse and color exploration of New York school painting, while also introducing fresh ideas on what she described as “the void” and internal landscapes as depicted through abstracted forms. This thesis addresses the unique challenge for Hood in her career, caused by her fluidity between physical places and art movements. She was neither bound by geographical location (moving multiple times in her life - from Texas, to New York, to Mexico, then back to Texas) nor artistic style (interested in Surrealism, folk art, large-scale abstract paintings that are formally reminiscent of the New York school). It was this fluidity that inevitably hindered her from achieving the status of other artists who were more firmly, and consistently, situated with a particular movement or location. Hood possessed a unique vision of painting's potential as a portal to the inner psyche, the “void”, and the spiritual power of art. Her influence and contributions positions Hood as one of the greatest Texan artists in modern art history.



Modern art, Abstract art, Female artists, Texan art, Surrealism, The void in art, Art History