Opening: Saturday 10 December 2011, 6 pm
Exhibition: 10 December 2011 - 11 February 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 3 – 7 pm
"Tomory Dodge's canvases recall the sublime through an abstract and seductive use of color and movement. The compositional negotiation between beauty and destruction suggests the artist's preoccupation with catastrophe, rapture, transcendence, and rebirth. Looking at them feels like enjoying the calm before the storm.“ Lauren O‘Neil - Butler, Artforum 2008
We are pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Tomory Dodge, showcasing his most recent body of work. Born in 1974 in Denver, Colorado and living in Los Angeles, Tomory Dodge is among the leading exponents of a new generation of American painters, who devote themselves to explore and develop abstract imagery and innovative painting techniques with new freshness and vigor. His work is already represented in the collections of important American museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum and the Simthsonian Institution in Washington.
The paintings and works on paper of Tomory Dodge have long been interested in the catastrophic and uncanny, particularly in relation to the idea of the landscape. His past work has depicted such scenes as frozen relics of failed arctic explorations and debris strewn expanses of the American desert.
The visceral materiality of the work has always been front and center and has set the stage for Dodges’ more recent exploration of abstraction. This current work features heavily worked, at times chaotic surfaces which suggest massive deluges of falling debris or material flung into space as if one were to freeze time a split second after some violent explosion. Despite all the implied kinetic force in the work Dodge often manages to achieve a unique stillness and lightness similar to what one would experience if the law of gravity were suddenly suspended.The dramatic marks of color, although they openly show their nature as smears of paint applied by the artist’s hand, nonetheless go beyond what they are to suggest something else – possibly shards of a shattered reality, or debris unanchored by gravity and adrift in a cold world contained on the canvas. Dodge’s work plays at the margins of the figurative, yet still engages with the art of representing, with the problems of mimesis and the painterly act of recreation having become internal to the work. The paintings do not aspire to verisimilitudinous re-enactments of things in particular, in order to present a flawed yet illuminating reflection of the world; in Dodge’s work reflection, in both its visual and intellectual senses, occurs within the paintings themselves.
The compositional logic of the large new painting “Sleepless” is determined not by the exigencies of figuration, but by the act of reflecting each gesture back and forth across a central vertical axis, an act that heightens the abstract artifice of the work and expands the space of the painting into intriguing new places. The paintings’ symmetries, however, are neither mechanical nor perfect, for variations in tone and composition creep in during the process of replication. Indeed, the possibility of perfect symmetry in painting, of denying or negating the individuality and painterliness of the artist’s marks, is something which Dodge is concerned to question. Drawing on his earlier interest in the illusory potential of paint, Dodge’s works become optically disquieting, as the recto and verso panels of the paintings engage in a dynamic interplay, and notions of originality, authenticity and distortion range across the canvas.