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Alex Dodge – A Way With Words (Part 2)

April 26 – May 15, 2024
GINZA TSUTAYA BOOKS ATRIUM

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Alex Dodge “A Way With Words”

Maki Fine Arts presents a solo exhibition of new works by Alex Dodge titled A Way With Words. The exhibition will run from April 6 (Sat.) to May 12 (Sun.). This will be Dodge’s third solo show with the gallery, and the first in about two and a half years (the last being in 2021). This exhibition will consist of two parts: Part I, which will be held at Maki Fine Arts, and Part II, which will be held at the GINZA ATRIUM in Ginza Tsutaya Books.

Over the past 20 years Dodge has continued to redefine the act of painting with innovative techniques and processes. Employing a range of software and computer code, his works traverse the virtual and physical worlds. With a unique approach, inspired by various printmaking techniques, Dodge translates his images to canvas with thick layers of oil paint using stencils cut with lasers and other CNC processes. His work is a fusion of advanced digital tools and painstaking manual work using traditional techniques and media. Reflected in his technical process is his perennial subject of technology itself and how it continues to redefine human experience.

The new works for this exhibition take connectivity of language and AI as their general theme. While deeply contemplative in their anticipation of the near and distant future, the work remains playful with interminable humor and levity.

A Way With Words 

Part I: Maki Fine Arts (April 6 – May 12) 
Part II: Tsutaya Ginza Atrium, Ginza Six (April 26 – May 15 ) 

At the heart of human experience lies a paradox: our deepest feelings and insights are often ineffable, eluding the grasp of language. Yet, in this digital epoch, language, particularly text, has become indispensable in connecting us. 

Language has been a primary human technology allowing for extensible or shareable virtual spaces; be it in the form of a printed book, song lyrics, or compiled computer code and yet language is not without its limitations. The intersection with visual forms such as painting extend human experience in ways that language alone cannot. In these exhibitions Alex Dodge extends the established use of text in his work, employing his signature humor and formal play, exploring various dimensions of language as a propositional, procedural, poetic, graphical, and tactile construct. “A Way With Words” plays with text in a way that both celebrates its expressive capability while equally laying bare its often comical inadequacy. 

These exhibitions arrive at a moment when our civilization embarks on a new path with language. The rise of computational power, statistical modeling, and algorithmic processing—exemplified by tools like Chat GPT and others—has revolutionized our interaction with text. There is an irony that the GPU (graphics processing unit), originally intended for visual tasks, now drive neural networks and large language models, in reshaping our language landscape in profound ways. This technological leap stirs a philosophical and linguistic debate, in the Western tradition, with figures like Ludwig Wittgenstein and the linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf. Their key premise, the centrality of language in defining and shaping reality, gains new significance as we blend text with AI to generate human experience. In contrast, Eastern philosophies, notably Buddhism and Taoism, regard language as a more limited tool in understanding reality. They advocate transcending language to reach a deeper, direct understanding of reality, as practiced in Buddhist meditation or the Taoist pursuit of intuitive understanding. Fittingly, the exhibition’s second chapter unfolds in Tsutaya bookstore’s Atrium gallery—an inner sanctum of the celebration of language in book form.

Dodge’s paintings are a visual metaphor for this philosophical discourse. Phrases from song lyrics and poetry are transformed into fluffy, pillow-like letters sewn from fabric, taking on almost figurative-like qualities as they inhabit geometrically tiled interiors. These spaces, with their numerical and computationally simulated qualities, represent idealized worlds where language—rendered as languid, floppy, and imperfect pillows—resides. The contrast is striking: the perfection of algorithmically generated spaces against the organic, unconstrained, and imperfect nature of language as portrayed in Dodge’s work.

This exhibition reflects on how new technologies redefine artistic expression. Just as photography’s advent liberated painting to explore new dimensions, the fusion of text and AI challenges and inspires new artistic vistas. Dodge’s work, spanning two decades, has been a testament to this exploration, examining the intersection of virtual systems and painting. 

“A Way With Words” is an invitation to reflect on the nuanced dance between language, technology, and visual forms. Through a blend of humor, play, and thoughtful inquiry, Dodge encourages viewers to engage with these themes, offering a mirror to our complex, ever-changing relationship with language and the reality it seeks to describe.

Alex Dodge

Alex Dodge
Born 1977 in Denver, Colorado. His recent shows include Daemon-Haunted World (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2023), Personal Day (solo, BB&M, 2023), Laundry Day : It all comes out in the Wash(solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2021), Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019). His works have been added to collections at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Part I :
Alex Dodge “A Way With Words”
April 6 – May 12, 2024
Maki Fine Arts / B1F, 77-5 Tenjin-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Wednesday – Saturday 12:00-19:00 / Sunday 12:00 -17:00
Closed on Monday, Tuesday

Part II :
Alex Dodge “A Way With Words”
April 26 – May 15, 2024
GINZA TSUTAYA BOOKS ATRIUM / 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
11:00 – 20:00
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Group Show
Glen Baldridge, Holly Coulis, Alex Dodge, Keisuke Shirota

Glen Baldridge
 No Way
2021
Gouache on paper
60.96 x 46.04 cm
Holly Coulis
Lemon on End
2022
Gouache on Arches paper
45.72 x 60.96 cm
Alex Dodge
Tanks – January 24, 2023 (Midnight Embassy)
2023
oil and acrylic on canvas
42.2 x 56.2 cm
Keisuke Shirota
Coastal path 
2022 – 2023
photograph and oil on canvas board mounted on wood frame
60 x 90cm

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present a group show featuring new and recent works by four artists starting Saturday, May 13, through June 25, 2023.

Glen Baldridge
Born in 1977, Nashville, Tennessee. Recent shows include Wigwag (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2023), What Now Who How (solo, Halsey McKay Gallery, 2022), No Way (solo, Halsey McKay Gallery, 2019). His works have been added to collections at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, RISD Museum.

Holly Coulis
Born in 1968, Toronto, Canada. Recent shows include Sun Shift (solo, Cooper Cole Gallery, 2023), Eyes and Yous (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2022), Orbit (solo, Philip Martin Gallery, 2021). Her works have been added to collections at Blanton Museum of Art, Nerman Museum of Art.

Alex Dodge
Born 1977 in Denver, Colorado. His recent shows include Personal Day (solo, BB&M, 2023), Laundry Day : It all comes out in the Wash(solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2021), (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2020), Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019). His works have been added to collections at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, RISD Museum.

Keisuke Shirota
Born 1975 in Kanagawa, Japan. His recent exhibitions include Beyond the Frame (two person,  haco -art brewing gallery- , 2023), Out of the frame (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2022), Over (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2021), PAINT,SEEING PHOTOS (solo, Chigasaki City Museum of Art, 2019-2020). His works have been added to collections at Chigasaki City Museum of Art.

Artist

Alex Dodge – Revealed – 3 private collections –

April 24 – May 5, 2024
Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino

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Artist

Alex Dodge – Daemon-Haunted World

September 8 – October 21, 2023
Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery

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Alex Dodge “LAUNDRY DAY : IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH

Alex Dodge
Laundry Day: Rag No. 59,109 (Neon Carrot)
2021
oil and acrylic on canvas
31.8 x 41 cm
Alex Dodge
Laundry Day: Rag No. 58,931 / 59,084 (Spring Bud)
2021
oil and acrylic on canvas
45.5 x 53 cm
Alex Dodge
Laundry Day: It All Comes Out In the Wash
2021
oil and acrylic on canvas
194 x 162 cm

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present LAUNDRY DAY : IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH, a solo show by Alex Dodge, starting Saturday, September 25th through Sunday, November 7th, 2021. In his much anticipated second show in Japan, two-and-a-half years since his first show, Alex Dodge will showcase new paintings that combine images of subject matter from his previous works–such as printed material including The New York Times–with images of textile, patters, clothing, and fabric.

Between the Second and Third Dimension
Hitoshi Dehara (Curator, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art)

In his previous show at Maki Fine Arts, The Trauma of Information, the majority of Alex Dodge’s motifs were fabrics and newspapers that have been crumpled up or used for packaging–exactly the type of shapes that stimulate visual illusions. The contrast between the original shape and the warped shape helps our brain discharge the idea of three-dimensionality. The motifs are drawn alone on canvas without a background and emanate a certain amount of thickness. The oil paint is applied thickly using overlapping brush strokes and topped with stenciled text and patterns, which help flesh out the three-dimensional illusion even further. At close inspection, however, we see that some paint mounds don’t align with the illusionary irregularity of the newspaper’s surface and others bring attention to the flatness of the canvas used as foundation. They are neither uniform nor reduced to the augmentations created by the illusion. Therefore, our eyes end up wandering between the two perceptions: the three-dimensional (the thickness) and the two-dimensional (the three-dimensional illusion). Within this small little world, the universal riddle of visual arts–the difference between two perceptions–unfolds. These works should be seen as paintings that are fortified through precise planning and pliable positioning.

The artist uses computer-generated images through 3D simulations. His laser-cut stencils were influenced by Japanese stencil-dying techniques. Cutting-edge technology vs. traditional craft; west vs. east; art vs design; and painting vs. wood-block printing. In the hands of Alex Dodge, these seemingly opposite and contrasting (or strategically displayed) terms are effortlessly built into his creations according to his intent. For example, until the technique of Japanese stencil-dying is brought up, the viewer has no inkling of its influence in his works. Through high-tech support and intellectual planning, his works generate the visual surprise we experience.

In his recent works, Dodge has chosen motifs of day-to-day consumer items. The subtle existence of these items passing through our eyes surely help us find modernity and meaning, but it also echoes poetry. Poets compose a world of text independent from reality. Likewise, Alex Dodge accomplishes something similar through his paint brush.



Alex Dodge
Born 1977 in Denver, Colorado, Alex Dodge currently works from Brooklyn, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. His recent shows include Alex Dodge (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2020); The Trauma of Information (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2019); Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019); and Whisper in My Ear and Tell Me Softly (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2018). His works have been added to collections at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Ordinary objects – Alex Dodge / Shoko Masunaga / Ryosuke Ogino / Fuminao Suenaga

Alex Dodge
Soft Power for Hard Problems (Nike) I
2020
oil on canvas
38 x 45.5 cm

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present Ordinary objects, a group show by Alex Dodge, Shoko Masunaga, Ryosuke Ogino, and Fuminao Suenaga, from November 27 through December 20, 2020. The four artists have chosen everyday ordinary objects as subject matter to showcase their unique approach to examining paintings.


Alex Dodge

Born 1977 in Denver, Colorado, Alex Dodge currently works from Brooklyn, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. His recent shows include Alex Dodge (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2020); The Trauma of Information (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2019); Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019); and Whisper in My Ear and Tell Me Softly (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2018). His works have been added to collections at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Shoko Masunaga

Born 1980 in Osaka, Japan, Shoko Masunaga graduated from Seian Zokei Junior College in 2000 with a major in painting. Her creative process originates from paintings and utilizes a variety of techniques. By focusing on connections to the surrounding environment and space, her works become fluid and interchangeable. Recent activities include the 2018-2019 NARS Foundation International Residency Program in Brooklyn, New York; Box, Box, Box (solo, Cooler Gallery, New York, 2019); CRITERIUM 93 Shoko Masunaga (solo, Gallery 9, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, 2018); VOCA–The Vision of Contemporary Art 2017 (The Ueno Royal Museum); RURAN TADD PADAN-PADAN (solo, Gallery yolcha, Osaka, 2016); Platform (solo, LOOP HOLE, Tokyo, 2016); When I came home in the evening (milkyeast, Tokyo, 2016); This arrived in the post (IONIO&ETNA, Tokyo, 2015); Abstract Butter at HAGISO (solo, HAGISO, Tokyo, 2015); Where the three tables stand (Art Center Ongoing, 2015); and Medium Conditions (HAGISO, Tokyo, 2014).


Ryosuke Ogino

Born 1970 in Saitama, Japan, Ryosuke Ogino graduated from the School of Political Science and Economy at Meiji University in 1993 and completed the B-semi Learning System program in 1998. Ogino creates paintings using color layers while examining the relationship between color and form. Recent exhibitions include Absorption / Radiation (the 19th hokuto-building, Saitama, 2019); MOT Collection: Pleased to meet you. New Acquisitions in recent years (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); Current Location of Paintings (Sapporo Odori 500-m Underground Walkway Gallery, Hokkaido, 2018); (-ness) (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2018); Hello (solo, See Saw Gallery + Cafe, 2016); kotenten (solo, Switch Point, 2015); Present-Day Paintings: Two-Dimensional Works of Four Artists (Kawagoe City Art Museum, 2015); cannot see clearly (solo, gallery COEXIST-TOKYO, 2014); and New Vision Saitama 4 (The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, 2011).


Fuminao Suenaga

Born 1974 in Yamagata, Japan, Fuminao Suenaga graduated from Tokyo Zokei University in 1999 with a major in painting. His paintings and three-dimensional works are based on visual subject matters inspired by elements relating to exhibition spaces as well as observations made during day-to-day activities. Recent shows include Picture Frame (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2020); Publicness of the Art Center (Art Tower Mito, Contemporary Art Gallery, 2019-2020); Weavers of Worlds–A Century of Flux in Japanese Modern/Contemporary Art– (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); MOT Collection: Pleased to meet you. New Acquisitions in recent years (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); Search Results (solo, Maki Fine Arts, Tokyo, 2018); railroad siding 2017 (former Tokorozawa city supply center for school meals, Saitama, 2017); APMoA Project ARCH vol. 11 Museum Piece (Aichi Prefecture Museum of Art, 2014); and Born in 1974 (part 1 of a 40th anniversary show, Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2014).

Artfairs

CADAN : Gendai Bijutsu 2023

July 8 – 10, 2023
WHAT CAFE & T-LOTUS M
Participating Artist : Alex Dodge

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Winter Show – Alex Dodge, Shunsuke Kano, Akira Takaishi, Shinsuke Aso

Alex Dodge
The Only Stars Are In Your Eyes
2019
7 color screen print with braille texture on Bristol
101.6 x 76.2cm
Edition of 40

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present Winter Show, a group show featuring new and recent works from gallery artists Alex Dodge, Shunsuke Kano, Akira Takaishi, and Shinsuke Aso, starting Saturday, January 25th, 2020.


Alex Dodge
American artist Alex Dodge was born 1977 in Denver, Colorado and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Recent shows include The Trauma of Information (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2019), Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (group, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019), and Whisper in My Ear and Tell Me Softly (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2018). His works have been added to collections at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Shunsuke Kano
Born 1983 in Osaka, Japan, Shunsuke Kano completed his graduate studies at Kyoto Saga University of Arts in 2010. He currently lives and works in Kyoto. Kano has been presenting photographic works that question the act of looking by using methods that generate awareness of complex layers. His works have been exhibited in solo shows such as Pink Shadow (Maki Fine Arts, 2018), Construction Cross Section (Maki Fine Arts, 2016), Shunsuke KANO | Jenga and Fountain for the 8th shiseido art egg (Shiseido Gallery, 2014), as well as group shows including VOCA 2017 Vision of Contemporary Art (Ueno Royal Museum, 2017), and Photography Will Be (Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 2014).


Akira Takaishi
Akira Takaishi was born in 1985 in Kanagawa, Japan and graduated from the Musashino Art University with an MA in oil painting. He creates works that navigate the border between image and matter by manipulating perspectives, revealing cross sections of the support mediums, and drilling the surfaces. Recent exhibitions include Descending Garden (solo, clinic, 2019), Three Bodies, About 180 trillion Cells (group, Maki Fine Arts, 2017), Underground Water Vein (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2016), My Hole, Holes In Art (group, Space 23℃, 2015) and Someone like Champollion (solo, Kodama Gallery, 2013).


Shinsuke Aso
Born 1979 in Gunma, Japan, Shinsuke Aso headed to the US after graduating Kitakanto School of Fine Arts in 2000. He is a 2004 graduate of the School of Visual Arts and is currently based in New York. His long-term projects include creating collages with materials collected from his daily life as well as his SAPC Project–selling postcards made from cardboard and packaging material for 25 cents each. Through these undertakings, Aso explores modes of expressions that encourages unique interpretations and conclusions from each viewer, recognizing individual identities and experiences. His recent show Beyond the future of Meld Sculpture was curated by Yoshio Shirakawa and shown at Maki Fine Arts (2018).