Tomory Dodge: Out the Window

22 July - 4 August 2020

Philip Martin Gallery is pleased to present new watercolors by Tomory Dodge. Inspired in part by Matisse, Tomory Dodge in his new works takes on the vantage point of an individual engrossed in examining the domestic objects around them, while at the same time looking at the scene outside. 

Matisse opens doors - and windows - for artists and viewers alike. Writing about one such work, "Open Window" (1905), now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, one writer suggests that, "The vista may look out to a small French fishing port—but, really, this window opens on the future of painting in the twentieth century." 

In making this point, the writer above is describing ideas in art that continue to resonate. Known for large scale paintings rooted in the push-pull of abstraction, Tomory Dodge's work features incredible passages of color that that he adds through expressive brush work, inscribes with paint sticks, and reveals by means of scraping back with a palette knife. Dodge's passages of color emphasize the physicality and materiality of painting and challenge our expectations.

Further analyzing "Open Window," the writer above states that, "The fauves liberated color from any requirements other than those posed by the painting itself. 'When I put a green,' Matisse would say, 'it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky.' Art exerted its own reality. Color was a tool of the painter's artistic intention and expression, un-circumscribed by imitation. Matisse’s imperative was to 'interpret nature and submit it to the spirit of the picture.'" 

Like Matisse, Dodge's watercolors exert their own reality. They walk a line between vision and making, exploring a personal vision in a liquid medium figured by color, line and shape. At the same time, they comment a bit on the renewed sense of interiority and reflection this pandemic has brought to all of us. Dodge's works reflect in a subtle way not only what we are experiencing, but also that for which we what we are hoping for - in doing so, they assert a sense of peace and looking, gently reminding us of the power of our own vision.


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 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); 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.