Thomas Lawson "New World"

Participant Inc.

poster for Thomas Lawson "New World"

This event has ended.

These large-scale works feature an array of life-size figures turning their backs to the viewer. Apparently looking into the distance, these figures leave us to confront a hyper-carnivalesque palette, eccentric patterning, and experimental compositional and iconographic tactics. Beginning with photographs of mostly young people in Los Angeles and New York — some staged, some captured on the street — Lawson translates these images into complex paintings that play with different possibilities of perception and representation. Perverse, yet hopeful, these works feature singular ‘portraits,’ embedded in a painted space that is illusionistically ambiguous.

Initially inspired by Giandomenico Tiepolo’s 18th Century fresco, The New World, Lawson reworks the scene of a crowd lining up to view a spectacular attraction, restaged here with contemporary subjects rendered with experimental hues and facture, inclusive of fuchsia flesh, royal blue boots, and lime green limbs. The density and excess of these canvases complicate the artist’s interest in ‘passive confrontation’ with his subjects. Lawson frames his figures with decorative details, which he reveals are forms taken from his studio, including abstractions inspired by a faux marble medium, stripes gesturing to Cubist lozenges, and circles adapted from coffee cans.



from June 14, 2009 to July 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 8pm: Thomas Lawson in conversation with London-based painter Gerard Hemsworth

Opening Reception on 2009-06-14 from 19:00 to 21:00


Thomas Lawson

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