in New York, NY / United States
10.10.2019 - 09.11.2019 00:00
Tyler Dobson - To Two Too

Team (gallery, inc.) is pleased to present a one-person exhibition by Tyler Dobson, entitled “To Two Too”.

It happens; Celine Dion starts playing over the Goodwill speakers as you browse participant t-shirts from Thanksgiving fun-runs of yore, and you are overwhelmingly, absurdly, moved. Depths of real emotion lurk within the innocuous, tacky, and average, and it’s with a droll sincerity that Tyler Dobson’s “To Two Too” navigates love, sex, and selfhood in works across painting and sculpture. If the artist ascribes an importance to being earnest, he also savors triviality and superficiality, as the best love songs savor heartache and the saccharine in equal proportion.

A condition of duality underlies the works on view, interrelating self and other, original and copy, and embodying both at once. On their own, the constituent elements of Dobson’s work – buoys, deviled eggs, vintage candle sconces – assume a breezily staid decorative aspect, with tension emerging through doubling, coupling, and pairing. Notably it’s not opposites that attract, but superficially similar objects that put stress on our assumptions concerning likeness and connection. Staging micro-narratives of empathy, fantasy, and reality, affection lost and found and longed for, the artworks inhabit the conundrum of what we see in others – the attractive and repulsive, comforting and alarming – often being a reflection of ourselves.

Dobson translates found objects and readymades through a lyrical reduction that strips bare the materials to take on the possibility of broader meaning, in a process marked by a lo-fi directness of approach and poetic grandlessness. Anchoring the physical space of the gallery, the “Physical Support Totems”, constructed from foam buoys painted with marine enamel, make reference to Anne Truitt while engaging their latent utility: to guide, warn, and signal. A pair of ships rendered a lá shabby-chic shingle-work continue the marine theme and the artist’s ongoing engagement with craft and folk art, linking ye olde readymades and Robert Gober, nautically-inclined décor and Lutz Bacher. Dobson’s particular brand of Americana, more L.L. Bean than Levi Strauss, is an aesthetic shortcut, a bucolic path through the thorniest thicket, to wistfulness; his subject is not nostalgia for, but nostalgia, full stop. Manifesting a melancholic yearning that relies on evasive meaning and emotional manipulation, he approaches aesthetics as the production of myth, longing, and hierarchy.

One might consider Bas Jan Ader another point of reference for Dobson’s practice; they share an appreciation for artifice, sentimentality, and irony, not to mention a nautical fixation. Ader’s photographs, often shown in pairs, decontextualize what they depict and employ highly self-aware humor, allegory, and narratives of the self. Both take on the subject and role of the Artist with playful concern, but a very real toughness and cheek elemental to their work is matched by its fragility; the common denominator is vulnerability.

Tyler Dobson was born on the Maine Coast, where he currently lives and works. He has exhibited widely both stateside and abroad, with exhibitions at Landings in Norway, Dold Projects in Germany, and Svetlana, Ramiken Crucible, and 47 Canal, all in New York.

Gallery hours Tues-Sat 10 am – 6 pm


team (gallery, inc.)
83 Grand Street
10013 New York, NY
United States


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