New York Times

Art in Review
May 8th, 2008


 The young Los Angeles artist Tomory Dodge emerged around 2004 as a painter of prismatic, quasi-abstract landscapes based on the California desert. Mr. Dodge has removed most traces of representation from his latest paintings, the best of which bring to mind the explosive brushwork of Joan Mitchell and the squeegeed surfaces of Gerhard Richter. In the process he has also obliterated the sense of place that makes his work so compelling.

In “Daisy Cutter” (2008), named for the 15,000-pound bomb used in Vietnam and Afghanistan, Mr. Dodge used a palette knife to create vertical rainbows in the middle of a bright blue sky. The pastel brushstrokes of “Cascade Alpha” and “Cascade Bravo,” similar top-heavy compositions executed on different background colors, evince less bombastic violence.

An arsenal of photographic effects — the gradient, the digital camera’s lens flare — links this body of work to Mr. Dodge’s hallucinatory landscapes. “Drop” (2008), a scattering of haloed white bars, suggests fluorescent light bulbs in free fall — a beautiful image, but less haunting than the lonely cactuses and abandoned trailers that figure in earlier paintings.