Ted Gahl

She is My Clock
February 12–March 19, 2022

Gahl’s paintings brim with undifferentiated energy. Washy grounds and swaths of colors become fertile lands for his exploration of an unconscious populated by dreams and memories mingling together. A history accrues on each canvas with forms and characters drifting in and out of recognition like the flash of a day dream. The physical build up of paint scraped and returned whispers of hidden stories. In this way time becomes a partner in his creation, a foil against which narratives emerge. Gahl ushers in scenes both strange and familiar, allowing the viewer enough to grab onto while maintaining a feeling of openness and possibility. Figuration sits nestled in loose architectural abstraction, sometimes a cabinet, sometimes a place more diffuse. These delineations act on the desire to hold onto the impossible, to contain the night sky, to make still the clouds. A longing both somber and beautiful permeates the works as shapes and titles reference the artist’s travels to faraway landscapes and inner worlds. Memories coalesce within an investigation of temporality in the painting She Is My Clock, for which the show is named. Gahl depicts a spectral female form surrounded by stars and crescent moons. There is a mythic quality to the imagery. It feels both personal yet widely applicable. A musing on how time becomes relational and elastic in your lovers arms: how fleeting the minutes with them, how long the days and nights in their absence.

—Lydia Enriquez

MAMOTH is thrilled to present She is My Clock, American artist Ted Gahl’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and first in London. Living and working in Connecticut, Gahl creates paintings with intuition, which draw from his imagination, personal image archive and art historical references.

In this new body of work, a predominant feature is the inclusion of cabinets, easels and screens in
the compositions, a device that allows Gahl to create pictures within pictures. Bringing memory into conversation with fiction, as well as abstraction with figuration. Brushstrokes are contained and in cases compartmentalised by the hard formal definition of furniture and props. This could be seen as an attempt to exert control in a time of seeming wider dwindling control. These set pieces then function as stages, provoking a series of ethereal, otherworldly scenarios.

Artist Biography:

Gahl obtained his BFA from Pratt Institute in 2006 and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include: “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea”, Harkawik, Los Angeles, California, 2021; “March Pictures”, Halsey McKay, East Hampton, New York, 2021; “Metro-North”, Massif Central, Brussels, Belgium, 2021; “Paintings”, Alexander Berggruen, New York, 2020; “Suet Paintings/Smoker by Window”, Y2K group, New York, 2020; “Zen Paintings”, Vicki, Newburgh, New York, 2019; “Lamu”, Halsey McKay, East Hampton, New York, 2019; Recent group exhibitions include: “The Glass Bead Game”, MAMOTH, London, 2021; “Peinture en trois services”, Valentin, Paris, France, 2021; “dal segno”, Y2K group, New York, New York, 2021; “Kindred Spirits”, Bjorn & Gundorph, Aarhus, Denmark, 2020; “Drawing in Lockdown”, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium, 2020; “Summer Stock”, Craven Contemporary, Kent, Connecticut, 2020; “Do You Like Worms?”, Gazebo, Newark, Delaware, 2020; “Woof of the Sun, Ethereal Gauze”, Halsey McKay, East Hampton, New York, 2020

Gahl is a 2022 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. He lives and works in Northwest, CT.

【OCULA Interview】

- Ted Gahl: 'Abstraction is a Starting Point'

Press Release  PDF