Bob Thompson, rediscovered in Atlanta

Bob Thompson, rediscovered in Atlanta

From 17 June to 11 September 2022, the High Museum in Atlanta presents “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine”, the first major exhibition of the work of Bob Thompson (1937–1966) in more than two decades.

Source: High Museum of Art · Image: Bob Thompson, Blue Madonna, 1961. Oil on canvas, 130.8 x 189.9 cm. Detroit Institute of Arts. Gift of Edward Levine in memory of Bob Thompson. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York. Photo: The Detroit Institute of Arts, United States / Bridgeman Images.

Despite his short career (died of a heroin overdose at the age of 28), Bob Thompson was a prolific artist, creating some 1,000 paintings in which, in a figurative style influenced by Abstract Expressionism, he reinterpreted the Western canon, confronting masters such as Piero della Francesca and Francisco de Goya.

According to the High Museum of Art, “Thompson’s work is characterized by a rigorous engagement with art history and a commitment to expressive figuration. Throughout his practice, canonical European painting served as a point of departure for his radically inventive contemporary allegories. Inspired by old masters such as Jacopo Tintoretto and Francisco de Goya, he developed a highly personal and symbolic visual vocabulary known for its characteristic vignettes of silhouetted figures and animals in pastoral settings. His paintings recast the mythological and religious narratives of his historical sources through his own aesthetic lens, producing fascinating and enigmatic compositions in a variety of scales and employing euphoric color.”

“Thompson’s art is like a free jazz adaptation of European art history, breaking down and retooling narrative conventions in an experimental manner,” explained Michael Rooks, the High’s Wieland Family curator of modern and contemporary art. “As a result, he quickly developed a mature style that was electrifying and which, implausibly but brilliantly, bridged the vanguard of art and music in New York with art of the old masters. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present this exhibition.” “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” was previously on view at the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago from February 15 to May 15, 2022. After its venue in Atlanta, the exhibition will travel to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where it will be on view from October 9, 2022 to January 8, 2023. #2022 #HighMuseumofArtAtlanta #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

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