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Dorr Bothwell
1902-2000

Theme/Style – Surrealism, figurative art, landscapes

Media – Oils, lithography, screen printing

Artistic Focus – Dorr Bothwell produced some of the period’s most notable Surrealist work, including canvases with “remarkable, almost haunting, enigmatic landscapes,” close-up studies of fruits and plants with forced horizons, and a number of self-portraits using satirical symbols and a touch of whimsy. Her works reflect the Surrealist emphasis on directness, simplicity and power.

Career Highlights –

• In 1921, Bothwell attended the California School of Fine Arts, where she studied with Gottardo Piazzoni.
• To circumvent the blatant sexism of her youth, she changed her name from Doris to Dorr to avoid exclusion from competitions where gender bias would influence the results.
• A strong and independent woman, she married sculptor Donal Hord, but ended the marriage when her husband refused to be an equal participant in the household responsibilities.
• For over a year, she settled in Samoa, where the tropical environment influenced her palette, moving the artist to greater use of bright, sparkling color. Her subject matter also expanded to include primitive people and their culture.
• During much of her adult life, Bothwell spent summers working in Joshua Tree, California, and winters in Mendocino, California.

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