Dorothy Fratt: Color Mirage
Sep 15, 2023 - Jan 28, 2024
Color Mirage is the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the prolific, yet underrecognized, American painter Dorothy Fratt.
Dorothy Fratt: Color Mirage is the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the prolific, yet underrecognized, American painter Dorothy Fratt (1923–2017). Born in Washington, D.C., Fratt showed prodigious talent in art as early as age 9 and garnered much attention at age 15 when her painting won first place in an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She received numerous educational scholarships, as well as apprenticeships with cubist painter Karl Knaths and landscape and figure painter Nicolai S. Cikovsky. Originally joining the Washington Color School in the 1950s, Fratt left to forge her own style of abstraction that was more closely tied to the Southwest United States after she moved to Arizona in 1958. Although Fratt’s paintings are often classified as color field and abstract expressionist, her use of color and expression of her surroundings evolved into a prolific body of work that idiosyncratically emotes landscape, atmosphere, gesture, and mood on her own terms.
Spanning more than five decades of the artist’s oeuvre, the exhibition will present a selection of foundational early works and ephemera alongside numerous paintings that exemplify Fratt’s vibrant and distinct style of abstraction. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog in collaboration with Radius Books to present new scholarly essays on the artist; unpublished writing by the artist; an extensive biography; artist conversations with Teresa Baker, Caroline Kent, and Rebecca Ward; and illustrations of artworks and ephemera.
Organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and co-curated by Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator, and Lauren R. O’Connell, curator of contemporary art.