In 1978 a high-school student named John Figler sent a telegram to Kurt Vonnegut that read “Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail.” Vonnegut responded: “I needn’t have bothered to write several books, a seven-word telegram would have done the job.”
Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is pleased to present a show of new works by Alex Dodge, his first New York solo show in six years. Titled Love May Fail, But Courtesy Will Prevail, the show will feature a new series of paintings made with an entirely unique process that Dodge has developed; imagery is generated in 3D-rendering programs and stenciled with thick oil paint onto canvas. Dodge’s studio practice has consistently explored the promise of technology as it interacts with and shapes human experience. His newest works are deftly located between new media and traditional painting.
Each painting features a patterned fabric optically drafted to imply volume, perspective and gravity. Some fabrics are draped over objects, while others seem to be filled with a gelatinous liquid that oozes out of openings in the cloth. Several of the paintings imply a narrative, with the fabrics forming a series of figures, some more familiar than others.
In using these patterns to define his subject matter, Dodge’s paintings are subversively elegant: the shrouded cloths are mysterious and the forms defined by absence, invoking the body with a bit of the macabre. The variety of fabrics – stripes, damasks, ginghams and polka-dots – imply cultural contexts that have been transcended through technology. The patterns function as platonic touchstones, transferred into binary code and rematerialized in paint, emphasizing the human and the technological as one.
Alex Dodge lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. He is the recipient of the 2016 Japan U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship. He holds degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and the New York University Interactive Telecommunication Program (MPS).