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Art Review

2006
APOCALYPSE WOW: TOMORY DODGE

By CATHERINE TAFT

Painter Tomory Dodge is perhaps best known for his straightforward negotiation of abstraction and casual representation within the same ground. His sophisticated renderings of depth and shadow denote barely-there pictorial images – like the fabric-strewn Joshua tree in Dress Up (2005) or the watery reflective surfaces in Mirage (2006) – that threaten to disintegrate into the composition’s layers of heavy oil paint.

Three years after his solo debuts at ACME in Los Angeles and Taxter & Spengemann in New York, Dodge is moving away from what he considers to be the narrative aspects of his compositions. His new body of work, which premieres at ACME in early January, plays up intentionally. obscured images in order to picture an environment that verges on formal collapse. On canvases as large as 2 x 4 m, Dodge ‘suggests a distinctly American landscape in violent disarray and upheaval. While this idea may seem didactic in light of recent national disasters and their political consequences, he turns to the apocalyptic not as critique, but rather for its potential as a transcendent force. In the ruin of social spaces, Dodge finds the sublime (and it should come as no surprise that these compositions have become increasingly abstract). This forthcoming show promises to evince
Dodge’s stylistic confidence and esteem for painting’s vitality.