Tomory Dodge: Desert Flowers

26 May - 9 June 2021

Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present "Desert Flowers," an exhibition of new paintings by Tomory Dodge. As its title suggests, "Desert Flowers" is an exhibition focused on renewal, rebirth and the figuring of painterly instinct.


Tomory Dodge’s dynamic paintings explore representation and the mechanics of picture-making. He writes, “I have often talked about paintings being inherently contradictory things. They are objects that are spaces, walls that are windows. They are the intersection of object and image. Painting maintains a physical anchor at a time when the image generally is becoming more and more ethereal—everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”


Painting’s power to represent images and events means that we often forget the fact that paintings themselves are a matrix of applied material signs. For painters, this dichotomy is paramount: the vision of the painter and the subjects that painters depict come together in brushstroke and surface, line, color and texture. Expression is at the heart of Dodge's work, as is the idea of "finding the painting in the painting" to paraphrase a notion expressed by Dutch-American master Willem De Kooning. In the process of exploring a motif and in applying paint on canvas, the painter sees and responds, as De Kooning suggests, to emerging conditions in the active field of painterly space.


Dodge comments, “Paradoxically, similar to analytic cubism perhaps, the attempt to understand something in its totality often results in partially obscuring it.” Within Dodge’s large oil-on-canvas paintings, many smaller “paintings” seem to jostle together, making room for themselves within the greater composition. The artist’s practice is both additive and reductive. He paints over older moments and scrapes away, finding the painting within the painting, to reach the final form of the work.


Tomory Dodge (b. 1974, Denver, CO) received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI) in 1998 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA) in 2004. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Ceysson & Bénétière (New York, NY); Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); LUX Art Institute (Encinitas, CA); "Stranger Than Paradise," Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence, RI); "Grafforists," Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); "Nowism," Pizzuti Collection (Columbus, OH); "An Appetite For Painting," National Museum (Oslo, Norway); "Pouring It On," Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA); "Tomory Dodge and Denise Thomasos: Directions to a Dirty Place," Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, NC); "Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape," Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY); "American Soil," Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); "Sheldon Survey," Sheldon Memorial Gallery, University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE). His work is in the collections of such museums as Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, CA); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, (San Francisco, CA); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA); Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA); Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, TX); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, MN); Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN); Orlando Museum of Art (Orlando, FL); Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN); Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC); Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC); RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI); Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT); and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY). Dodge's work is the subject of several monographic catalogs and has been discussed in such publications as Artforum, Flash Art, Modern Painters, Art Review, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Dodge lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Tomory Dodge’s exhibition is on-line May 26 – June 9, 2021. Holly Coulis's exhibition of new oil-on-linen paintings and painted sculpture is on view at the gallery through July 2, 2021.


In accordance with Los Angeles County Covid-19 protocol, Philip Martin Gallery is currently open by appointment only. To make an appointment, or to get additional images, or information please email, or call 213-422-9286. Philip Martin Gallery is located at 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034 in the Culver City area of Los Angeles between Venice Blvd. and Washington Blvd., just south of the 10 Freeway.