Bailey Doogan’s body of work includes film, three dimensional constructions and primarily, painting and drawing. She received her BFA in 1963 from Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and an MA in Animated Film from UCLA, Los Angeles in 1977. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited in diverse solo and group venues including: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Alternative Museum (solo and group), NY, NY; The Hillwood Museum, Long Island, NY; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, and The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, California; The Nelson Fine Arts Center, Arizona State University, The Phoenix Museum, The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Arizona; The San Antonio Museum, Texas; Speed Museum, Kentucky; Etherton Gallery, Tucson; and the J. Claramunt, Jayne H. Baum and ACA Galleries, New York, NY.
Her 1977 animated film, SCREW, A TECHNICAL LOVE POEM has won numerous awards and been previewed in festivals nationally and internationally including: The Cambridge Animation Festival, England; The International Festival of Women's Films, Denmark; The Venice Biennale, Italy; The Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan; The American Film Festival, and Film Forum, New York, NY; and The Brooklyn Museum, NY; and Hirshorn Museum, Washington, D.C.
Articles and reviews of her work have appeared in major publications including Ms., The Village Voice, and Harper’s Magazine; and art publications: ArtNews, Art in America, New Art Examiner, Artspace, Art Journal, Visions, and The Women’s Art Journal. Her writing has been published in M/E/A/N/I/N/G, Art Journal, and The Utne Reader.
Doogan has lectured at over thirty American Universities and Art Institutions and conducted workshops at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado. She was the 1992 fall semester’s Visiting Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently a Professor Emerita of Painting and Drawing at the University of Arizona in Tucson; she also served on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association from 1997-2001.
"For the past fifteen years, my painting and drawing has focused on the human body. Not "The Nude" or "The Figure", which are art forms. but the mutable body where flesh moves, changes and has infinite variety.
Our bodies are full of stories. They are detailed maps of our experiences. This corporeal topography of hair patterns, veins, scars, calluses, wrinkles and flesh (both smooth and crenulated) speak of a life lived.
Representations of the aging body, with some notable exceptions, have been largely excluded from the art canon. For the most part, the history of the body as naked subject has been the history of the body as seamless object. In addition to visuals, since language carries the weight of intellectual authority, text is often used to 'explain' the body. Much of my work explores that charged relationship between the world of discourse and the palpable world: the body and the words surrounding it.
Because of the highly articulated physical presence that I have wanted in my work, over the past fifteen years I have had to reteach myself to paint and draw. That learning process is ongoing. The paintings progress slowly; I build up and carve out the bodies with many layers of impasto and glaze.
The drawings process is subtractive. I initially apply many layers of gesso to the paper; then blacken the entire primed surface with charcoal. I draw with sandpaper to pull light areas from the dark, so that the bodies become luminous in the space: both receivers and emitters of light. As my visual acuity diminishes (detaching retinas, cataracts, etc.), my representation of the body has become more haptic or felt. While working, I feel that I'm literally crawling over the surface of the body—familiarity breeds redemption
The work is never finished. I keep returning, reconsidering, changing."