This is the Melbourne, Australia-based artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States and it will feature a site-sensitive installation of monochromatic paintings on canvas, photopaintings on paper, and wall paintings.
Since the late 1980s, David Thomas has been immersed in producing color field and later monochromatic work using an array of different media, including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. His recent work lies at the confluence of Eastern and Western monochrome painting traditions and he deliberately situates his work in this world, as a part of our ever-evolving daily life. Thomas’ work is defined by its simplicity of color and form, reflective surfaces, commonplace imagery, forthright paint application, subtle humor, and shifting sense of temporality. Thomas encourages viewers to read his works slowly.
About his work, Thomas states, “I am drawn to the monochrome by its visual energy and its emptiness. I like its deceptive simplicity. A pure monochrome exists only as an idea, not as a physical reality. An actual monochrome is seen in relationship to something else, a background, a wall, or another color. Other things impact on it and it on other things as an intervention. The monochrome if used in certain ways can help us see and consider the world around it more attentively. I use it as a temporal device, as an interval in the world.”
He continues, “The monochrome is complex. It exists as a painted surface as a material fact. It is a linguistic fact that comes out of specific cultural traditions of painting reflecting both local and global contexts. Whether it is an endpoint of a certain type of modernism as a reductive formalism, or whether it is an experiential field, or a disruption to our normal way of looking, the simple color field has the ability to generate questions in the world.”