Daily Special

The House I Passed
Dorothy Sturm
The House I Passed
c. 1980 | mixed media on paper | 11.25x17 | $6000

Beginning as a medical illustrator during the depression, Memphian Dorothy Sturm (1910-1988) made quite the name for herself in the contemporary art world during the mid-twentieth century. From pencil sketches of cells and muscles, her studies and experiments made her a master of collage, watercolor, fiber, and enamel. After many years teaching at Memphis College of Art, her brief stint working for a glass company led to Sturm’s fascination with enamel powder and stained glass.

Her curiosity and creative drive are evident in this piece, The House I Passed. Sturm’s handling of the crackling, fragmenting watercolor is akin to stain glass and stone tracery windows– or even mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. Pen and ink unveil a detailed, intriguing story out of impressionistic application of color. Inventive and creative, Sturm’s techniques and style are her own.

No small-town woman, she had a long gallery relationship with well-recognized Betty Parson Gallery in NYC. Hitting a little closer to home though, get this: she had a show at Oates Gallery in the early 1970s. That gallery was located at 97 Tillman in Memphis - the address may sound familiar to you.

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