‘NON-STOP-SUPER-DE-LUX’ brings together writing, objects and paintings from his series ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’, in this instance exploring the effects of business and busyness on our sense of tranquillity, control and empathy. Thomas’ painted poetic ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’ which began in 2017, bridge the stylistic qualities of newspaper cartoon strips and a more Blakean approach to pairing writing and imagery.
Taking its title from the pages of Pushwagner’s 1969 dystopian graphic novel “Soft City” the works in the exhibition focus on Thomas’ interest in revealing alternative, often more sinister dimensions, of the language and imagery of consumerism. In “Verbal Bodies”, Matthew Turner’s recent essay on Thomas’ practice, he notes that, “The materials used to create the works are, to a certain extent, a red herring: the real medium is language, and in particular how language becomes space, it is the space between written and visual language which the artist interrogates.” ‘NON- STOP-SUPER-DELUX’ sees Thomas further asserting this hypothesis.
In recent iterations Thomas’ ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’ have been presented with their own integral light ttings,in part this is a play on the various meanings of “to illuminate”, but more importantly, it is also a move towards creating works which breach a more theatrical realm. In ‘NON-STOP-SUPER-DELUX’ the works are lit by hanging pendulum lights which borrow and celebrate the creative way cut plastic water bottles are used to protect lights from the rain in Mexico City, where Thomas currently resides.
In his sculptures, Thomas’ tendency is to strip objects back in the same way he does text, allowing them to play new roles, stated by the artist as a wish to, “liberate them from the constraints of their previous purpose”. A series of new sculptural works, including the pendulum lights, will accompany the paintings, placed or hung throughoutthe space, playing the role of punctuation, conducting the ow of the installations reading.
Alongside Thomas’ exhibition at VITRINE, his sculpture for Frieze Sculpture 2019 titled ‘Cloud Study (Partner Dance)’, also extends from this practice. The work is comprised of two weather vanes which mirror each other in both their design, source imagery and function, pointing in the same direction as the winds shift. The imagery atop the vanes is selected from Thomas’ collection of “personal rain clouds”, imagery that has often been used in comic strips as a popular means by which to explore the complexities of depression, anxiety and mental health.
Add a Comment