Alexandre Gallery is pleased to present Lois Dodd: Flashings, an exhibition of select paintings on aluminum step flashings. The show features fifty small paintings made in Lois Dodd’s Maine studio and its surrounding landscape.
For over fifty years, Dodd has painted her everyday surroundings in places she has chosen to live and work. Her most spontaneous works, the Flashings appear as impressions of natural phenomena–budding flowers, passing clouds, nocturnal moonlight skies, dried and live plants. She produces each painting on a small aluminum flashing in fifteen or twenty minutes, without later revision. “Flashing,” therefore, takes on a double meaning: both the name of the material in use and a descriptor of Dodd’s method. Attuned to the fleeting effects of nature, Dodd paints scenes with improvisational finesse.
Dodd began painting on flashings in 1990, while teaching at the Vermont Studio Center. She purchases the panels, which are typically used to waterproof roofs, from a hardware or building supply store, then sands and cleans them with alcohol. She either gessoes them or leaves the aluminum bare to produce a silvery inflection. Dodd finds this lightweight and affordable building material to be portable and conveniently sized for making impromptu paintings. As a body of work, the Flashings become like innumerable still frames set into filmic motion. Faye Hirsch, author of the 2017 Lund Humphries monograph on the artist, writes of their visionary quality: “While Dodd rejects the notion of a spiritual or otherworldly aspect to her work, there is an undeniable visionary quality to some of her paintings – particularly in the works she calls her Flashings…Night skies are painted unnatural hues and streaked with what seem unlikely cloud formations. Branches crowd tiny frames like the swimming calligraphies of Henri Michaux (1899-1984); single, isolated seedheads or buds cast bizarre shadows. One wonders if, in effect, the work on step flashings might have made Dodd even more attentive to the special effects of nature, for some of her most visionary paintings in a larger format follow their production” (124).