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Houston artist Dorothy Hood seated in front of her 1976 work “Subterranean Illuminations”

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Kindered Spirits

By Michele Meyer

Photo courtesy of Meredith Long & Co. Artwork © Estate of Dorothy Hood

12.14.18

Two talented artists strike remarkable similarities in their art works, now on view at MFAH through February.

At first glance, Houston painter Dorothy Hood and New York sculptor Louise Nevelson may not seem like soul sisters. Even the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston didn’t consider parallels between the two 20th-century artists—at first. “I had one pile of notes on Hood on my desk and another on Nevelson when I was struck by subtle similarities,” says Alison de Lima Greene, MFAH’s Isabel Brown Wilson curator of modern and contemporary art. “They both come of age in the 1940s and responded powerfully to contemporary and pre-Columbian Mexican art.” Viewed side by side, their works also meld cubist and surrealist influences. Intriguingly, the artists themselves were in Houston at the same time, 50 years ago—in the same building—when the MFAH devoted an exhibit to Nevelson; Hood was teaching art at the museum’s school. “I’d like to think they met,” Greene says. The artists seem to be eyeing each other’s creations in the MFAH’s Kindred Spirits: Louise Nevelson & Dorothy Hood, where 31 paintings, sculptures and works on paper spanning 40 years in each artist’s career are on view through Feb. 3. 5601 Main St.