Nature vs. architecture are two themes that Tomory Dodge and Denyse Thomasos explore in their vastly sized canvases through the medium of painting. Dodge abstracts his pieces with thick layers of paint while Thomasos, utilized geometric shapes and lines that crossed along the white slate.
Dodge’s pieces vary in color scheme, some were dark with dashes of light color while some were filled with pastels and bright hues. In his explanations and statements about each piece, he repeatedly drew on the notion of a familiar scene that people view constantly but do not truly look at. In Dodge’s work, the line between realism and abstraction is crossed and intertwined; certain scenes are visible, yet his expressive style eliminates all complete recognition. Dodge’s work mixes and blurs the distinction between the natural world and the dirty places that inhabit the remainder of our environment. The piece below is an example of a concept that exists in the world, however, we do not truly interact with the scene. Next to this piece, Dodge explained that he was viewing a tree with lights wrapped around its branches and trunk; so much that the tree itself was hidden by the artificial material. The ornamental element was meant to decorate the tree but instead it binds and veils the natural world, creating a dirty place.
Walking through the exhibit, I felt a recollective and familiar association with the canvases, including Denyse Thomasos’ pieces, which I have not discussed yet. Below, Thomasos’ piece Raft has a much different color scheme that Dodges work; the neutral tones create a city scape that plays off of a more numerical and calculated vision. Within the contained spaces on the canvas, her expressive strokes weave together a city that seems to be floating between reality and a detached world.
Both artists, displaying a notion of a longing, while also alluding to nature and the burden of architecture create a show that is filled with similar aesthetics and themes. Tomory Dodge’s work is obviously more directed towards the natural world and the affects of the industrial world, while Thomasos’ pieces exemplify a claustrophobic notion in the isolation between her thick lines and bold hues. The entire exhibit is amazing to go and see and the large canvases are worthwhile to see in person. Up close the brush strokes are abstract in shape but once you step back, you are able to take in the whole image, which can only be done while visiting SECCA.