Jon Thompson was an esteemed critic, teacher and curator who masterminded the transformation of Goldsmiths College in the 1980s into a petri dish for the fermentation of the YBA group. Yet unbeknownst to many, Thompson was also an artist in his own right. The exhibition at S|2 will highlight Thompson’s artistic practice in large-scale photography and abstract painting, and its complex relationship with his deep and prolonged study of aesthetics and art history.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication featuring previously unseen archival material, a newly commissioned essay by Michael Bracewell, as well as many of Thompson’s own writings. In both Thompson’s artwork and writing, language itself is called into question constantly. The book and exhibition invite the reader to dip into Thompson’s labyrinthine network of questions and investigations concerning the nature of art itself.