Bob Thompson: So let us all be citizens (Clarion #7) (Hardcover)

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Bob Thompson: So let us all be citizens (Clarion #7) (Hardcover)

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A colorful, fantastical, and musical body of work by the painter Bob Thompson

“Thompson, who finally seems to be on fame’s doorstep, invents in much the same way: he makes you feel how it might have felt to see a picture of an angel for the first time.” —The New Yorker

Influenced by jazz music, Bob Thompson painted spirited, colorful compositions that feature an interplay of bodies, allegories, and natural landscapes while reconfiguring European masterworks. Though his career as a painter spanned only a brief period, from 1958 to his untimely death at age twenty-eight, Thompson left behind a singular and influential body of figurative work that remains vitally resonant. Looking at his particular consideration of color, line, and figuration—developed during a period when abstraction was the dominant trend in American art—this intimate exhibition catalogue, the seventh volume in the Clarion series, pays homage to the friction Thompson generated between his proximity to and deviation from canonical sources.

The phrase “So let us all be citizens,” taken from a speech the artist gave as a teenager, forecasted his passion for the tenets of freedom and expression, and encapsulates the power of Thompson’s work in widening the scope of what is imaginable in contemporary painting and for whom. With an introduction by Ebony L. Haynes, this publication expands upon Thompson’s dynamic practice and features works that spotlight his signature high-contrast palette.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Robert “Bob” Thompson (1937–1966) first entered Boston University to study education before leaving for the University of Louisville to pursue art in 1957. After his sophomore year, Thompson spent a summer painting in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Around 1959, Thompson moved to New York, where he mingled with jazz musicians and encountered Allan Kaprow’s Happenings as well as other developments in conceptual art; however, the artist would eschew these experimentations to engage more intimately with works by the established masters of European art history. After mounting his first solo exhibition in New York at Red Grooms’s Delancey Street Museum in 1960, Thompson received a grant to go to Europe; he would travel to and settle in Paris, Ibiza, and Rome for short periods of time, viewing works of art at museums and galleries firsthand while maintaining his studio practice. He returned to New York in 1963, joining Martha Jackson Gallery and presenting solo shows there in 1963 and 1965. He traveled to Rome in 1965, and after being hospitalized for appendicitis, he died in Italy at the age of twenty-eight in 1966.
Product Details ISBN: 9781644231265
ISBN-10: 1644231263
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 128
Language: English
Series: Clarion