Ted Gahl Offers Further Proof That Painting Ain’t Dead Yet

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You’ve got another few days to catch Ted Gahl’s excellent solo show at Dodge Gallery, “Sundays (Like the Brightest Light in the Theatre Shining on an Empty Stage).” Composed of paintings and painting-like sculptures, the exhibition is rife with art historical and autobiographical references. For some of the works, Gahl enlarges and reproduces savvy drawings he made as a young child, layering enlarged versions of these figurative doodles (a cigarette-smoking house painter, for instance) into nuanced compositions. One tiny wooden sculpture traps a variety of internationally-acquired paintbrushes into a sort of Minimalist jail cell; another tiny painting, tucked away beneath the stairwell, features an assortment of eyeballs peeping out from a dark background. A large painting incorporates a reproduction of a plank-like Blinky Palermo sculpture, made by wrapping canvas around a 2×4. (Many of the works exploit common materials from the aisles of Home Depot; certain paintings come within a frame made out of the generic paint-stirring sticks given out at that D.I.Y. superstore).

Gahl’s exhibition is on view through January 23, concurrent with the Chuck Webster-curated “Age of Small Things,” a wonderfully eclectic melange of folk art, obscure objects, and tiny drawings and paintings from the likes of Ellen Altfest, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Brian Belott, and many others. Don’t miss it.

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Gahl3ALL IMAGES: Sundays (Like the Brightest Light in the Theatre Shining on an Empty Stage), 2014, installation view. Courtesy of the artist and DODGEgallery. Photo: Martin Parsekian.