Tomory Dodge’s latest body of paintings at CRG is marked by a significant extension within his already diverse gestural language. Within a series of larger works, including two diptychs and smaller canvases, Dodge employs graphical systems and procedural frameworks in the form of grounds comprised of optically resonant stripes as well as Rorschach-like bilateral symmetries.
In works such as the The Future, an expansive horizontal in two parts, Dodge solidifies space with a rigid ground of hard-edged striped color, introducing an instantiated graphical boundary and a shallow but dynamically layered space. In past works Dodge made use of atmospheric expanses as a kind of suspending ether for his thickly laid strokes of material. Such textural and representational discordance offered a means of conveying vast spatial distinctions as well as material fact. While not clear representations of a changing gradated sky, lacking any point of terrestrial reference, the familiar is implied. Though some works in the exhibition make use of this to varying degrees, Dodge’s overall trajectory appears to veer towards less distinctly referenced spaces. With a nod to optically resonant painting, Dodge allows the vibrant linear patterns to define a kind of baseline from which all things are measured. These spaces attempt to become self contained; making reference to conceptions of space rather than specific spaces. In these works, Dodge allows for aberration in the graphic pattern where the masked stripes appear to have been smeared, patched, or repaired in places; creating further differentiated density among his networks of striated and raked gestures.
In other works like the diptych Texoma, Dodge introduces a procedural construct as means of execution in which a mark is made and then remade again on the opposite canvas as though mirrored bilaterally; the central union of the two part canvas forming the intended fold of a Rorschach-like inkblot. Unlike the precision or immediacy of a true inkblot, Dodge maneuvers the constrained space wavering between attempts at exact replication of an initial mark while at other times intentionally copying through loose emulation or location only. The construct, a kind of restricted version of Jaspen Johns or Robert Rauschenberg-style gestural dialog, creates a kind of self-contained binary play. Here the viewer’s inspection attempts to resolve the image’s structure; shifting from side to side, gauging similarity, or establishing the precedence of one mark over the other.
Dodge describes the works half jokingly as a “train wreck,” explaining a process of using subsequent, seemingly unrelated layers to negate or “derail” the previous layer, creating instances that are ever more phenomenologically contained by their own means.
Tomory Dodge was born in 1974 in Denver, Colorado. He now lives and works in Los Angeles.