It’s Day 208 and my hubby and I spent ALL day yesterday beautifying my art space. We painted the walls and the concrete floors so it’s safe to say that I am pooped today. My thighs are super sore from squatting on top of the washer and dryer to paint the edges of the walls and also the floors. I had so much fun doing today’s mixed media piece. I found this artist because I wanted to do something exactly in the vein of what she does. She’s great! Join me in paying tribute to Samantha Thomas today.
Age: 33 From: McAllen, Texas
Thomas is currently based out of LA. She graduated from the Art Center College of Design,
Pasadena, Calif. in 2004. Her solo exhibitions have taken place at LAXART, New York’s Mike Weiss Gallery, Patricia Faure Gallery in Santa Monica, and New Gallery/Thom Andriola in Houston. Aside from her solo exhibitions, her work has been shown at MOCA, L&M Arts in Venice, Calif., and Miami’s Fredric Snitzer Gallery.
Thomas explores modern urbanism and cities in her series for RH Contemporary Art called “Landscapification.” She distorts and plays with canvas, paint, enamel, sandpaper, and thread to create an abstract topographical map of Los Angeles. The series tests the boundaries of painting, sculpture, and the urban landscape with her three-dimensional pieces. The pieces are minimal in color but create a maximum impact. The juxtaposition created between the man-made and the natural in a city in one monochromatic form takes this series to the next level.
Biography above is from her website.
The next bit is from an Art in America article about Samantha Thomas that I also found via her site.
Abstract painting’s meteoric rise to the sine qua non of modern art history was less linear than
erratic, a trajectory aptly charted earlier this year in MoMA’s “Inventing Abstraction.” If such grand surveys aim to reveal the history of a period by mapping it expansively, Los Angeles – based artist Samantha Thomas mines the canon of abstraction by working intensively, creating canvases that quote from a century-long history of modern art while questioning some its most hallowed assumptions through a sly use of materials.
The works (all 2013) in Thomas’s exhibition “Texture/Parameter” were mostly easel-size and installed salon-style on one wall, with two larger pieces nearby. They venture down a path of familiar citations: actual tangled and matted yarn alludes to Pollock’s skeins, a tilted frame conjures Mondrian’s lozenges, a vertical band pays homage to Newman’s zips. The artist’s most explicit interlocutor is Kazimir Malevich, whose early 20th-
century Suprematist paintings of nearly monochromatic squares–each offset just enough so as not to merely echo the canvases’ shape, but rather to exist as an autonomous form–became the stuff of avant-garde legend. Today, the once-austere surfaces of Malevich’s squares–especially the famous black ones–are cracking; the deleterious effects of corrosion and decay have qualified the work’s promise of truth as embodied in geometry. Thomas intimates as much in two works, each the chromatic inversion of Malevich’s black-on-white schema. The raw canvas of Texture/Parameter #12 hides an egg carton, resulting in a bulging, spectral grid. Texture/Parameter #20 is plagued with holes, the result of the canvas having been burned.
While some narratives of abstract art celebrate the purging of figural references in favor
of pure line and color, Thomas’s work strongly suggests the body in a variety of ways. After all, latent within proposed narratives of abstraction’s purely “optical” experimentation was always its shadowy other: the sense of touch. For Thomas, the canvas is far from flat, and materials form an entry point for testing a range of textures. In some pieces, oil and acrylic are built up and smoothed over so as to take on a quality of vinyl or latex. In addition to creating these more synthetic effects, Thomas is persistent in her use of coarse vegetable fibers: burlap, linen, and rope.
Several cruciform reliefs appear wilted and slightly slouching, evoking not universal language of forms, but rather the course of gravity and age. Elsewhere, the canvases seem to sprout appendages. In Texture/Parameter #2, vertical bands of vermillion flank a section of burlap, its raised seam suggesting both the bumpy flesh of scar tissue and the curvature of the human spine. Thomas’s vocabulary of orifices and sineway coils, conjuring Eva Hesse and others, invites further bodily associations: a bulky girth of rope becomes entrails, the creasing and wrinkles of linen a protruding navel.
Ambitious in scope, “Texture/Parameter” portended to take on a modernist art history, but it most successfully considers the temporality of a distinctly bodily register: the rhythms of fecundity and rot. Thomas seems to understand that exploring abstraction’s parameters is less about interdicting the possibilities of canvas than marshaling its excesses.
Article by—-Catherine Damman
I had tons of fun with today’s piece. I cut up a soft black vinyl material and glued it onto the canvas after folding it. I was inspired by her Landscapification series obviously. I then painted it over with a nice glossy white acrylic paint. Then scraped away some of the paint from some of the vinyl which left a a gray veiny texture which I liked. It kind of looks like a mountain landscape. Well, I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 209!