YARES ART is pleased to present Dorothy Fratt: Out of Washington, on view in its Santa Fe venue, July 9 – October 2, 2021. This exhibition celebrates the unique achievements of Dorothy Fratt (1923–2017), an accomplished colorist, over the course of a long career beginning in 1947, and underscores her contribution to American abstract art.
Long associated with the Washington Color School, and sometimes identified as a key practitioner of Color Field painting, Fratt has been too often over-looked in surveys of these important movements. Although she avoided these labels, she nevertheless produced a singular body of work that advances the interrelationship of color and form, and the emotional potential of color in ethereal, abstract spaces. The artist’s vivid, masterfully wrought compositions evolve and unfold in this exhibition through a number of key examples, from the sensitively rendered figurative gouache After the Rodeo (1970), to the evocative abstract spaces in her mature works, such as Cousteau’s World (1973), with its expanses of aqua-blue, gold, and yellow. Another highlight of the show, Mummy Mountain (2002), is a spare composition with a searing orange-red ground punctuated with a touch of bright blue on the left, and, at center, an elongated “M” shape in an analogous red tone that suggests, via Fratt’s inimitable abstract language, a fiery mountain range, as indicated by the work’s title.
Born in Washington, DC, Fratt won multiple scholarships to Mount Vernon College, The Corcoran School of Art, and the Phillips Memorial Gallery of Art—all located in her native city. In 1958, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she offered private instruction in painting and color theory in her studio until 1972, and then on to Scottsdale where she continued her artistic practice and to lecture on art and color theory. One of her first major exhibitions was held at the Phoenix Art Museum in 1964. In 1990, she was the Key Note Speaker and panelist for the Sotheby’s Symposium on Quality in Art in New York City. Fratt received the Arizona Governor’s Award in 2000 for her contributions to the arts.
Fratt’s work may be found in the permanent collections of the New Mexico Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff; Tucson Museum of Art; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Hilliard Art Museum, Lafayette; Palm Springs Art Museum; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Städtische Galerie, Paderborn, Germany; and Museum Art. Plus, Donaueschingen, Germany.