CRG Gallery is pleased to present Tomory Dodge’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery, Deep Sleep, a series of new paintings that re-examine old motifs.
For this exhibition, Dodge, who in recent years has embraced a more monumental approach to his abstractions, has scaled down. This movement from large-scale to intimate suggests a period of inward reflection for Dodge—a desire to withdraw from public to private during a moment the artist describes as “transitional.” In his latest body of work, it is this liminal space that comes to the forefront.
To emphasize the idea of liminal space, Dodge has used interference paint containing microscopic flakes of pigmented mica. As light hits the mica flakes, it either bounces off directly, reflecting the color, or passes through to another layer. This gives the surfaces an almost metallic look of refracted light, which shifts the color depending on the viewing angle. In this sense, the paintings can be said to be constantly changing and somewhat elusive.
Another pervasive element in this body of work is the appearance of “star bursts” throughout; an allusion to Dodge’s earlier “Space Junk” paintings where objects floated in a limitless, starry background. Dodge renders these star bursts with a deliberate approach that feels like somewhat of a departure from the vibrant gestures of brush and knife that constitute the ground they are painted against.
In Dodge’s early work, he charts a somewhat forlorn reflection on Americana evidenced by: cacti, broken cement, palm trees, twisted metal, hollowed-out trailers, abandoned vehicles, fences, forests, and tunnels that hover in undefined space. The spaces, just as the objects that inhabit them, feel as though they are fluttering between a state of existence and non-existence. As the artist describes, these were: “spaces that existed on the edge of urban centers, spaces that weren’t wilderness, but weren’t socialized either, where rules seemed to not apply and were, for this reason, both tantalizing and threatening.”
The ability of painting to suspend this in-between space in some precarious, gravity defying moment, remains central to Dodge’s work. In Deep Sleep, Dodge continues to employ his robust painting vocabulary, which has shifted between representation and abstraction, to address the painting surface itself as a site of collapse and transformation.
Tomory Dodge (b. 1974, Denver, CO) received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and his BFA at Rhode Island School of Design. Recent exhibitions include the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance; the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus; The National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design, Oslo; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem; Monica De Cardenas Galleria, Zuoz; ACME, Los Angeles; CRG Gallery, New York; and Alison Jacques Gallery, London. His work is included in many museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.