In Esmé Thompson’s art luminosity and rich patterning engage the eye and the mind. Colorful and bold, these objects attest to a considered and lifelong interest in the decorative designs as diverse as Renaissance paintings, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and the complex patterns of Islamic textiles and ceramic tiles. The Bowery Gallery announces the opening of an exhibition of Thompson’s new paintings, ceramics and collages focusing on Thompson recent travels in Morocco. The exhibition will runs from February 28 – March 24. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, March 3 from 3:00-6:00 pm.
Over the last decade, Thompson has undertaken an investigation into the creative intersections of her many influences, creating veritable alchemies of design, pattern, and color. In so doing, she has fashioned a visual vocabulary that is distinctly her own, imbuing each painting and collage with the overlapping and intersecting language of symbols amid repeated articulations of line and color. She has also created three-dimensional art installations, and this exhibit will showcase a 57-panel piece, Djellaba, made up of paintings on the shaped galvanized tin covers of maple syrup buckets. Hung on the wall in a modular arrangement, these shield-like bucket tops are painted in patterns that mirror one another. The artist writes of these works: “Over the past ten years, my interest in creating an interactive visual narrative resulted in the creation of multiple-panel pieces in which the relationship of the parts to the whole is fundamental . . . I respond to the sight of the buckets hanging, solitary, on trees, reminding me of the transitional and ephemeral nature of the seasons as well as the resurgence of new life.”
Most recently Thompson has been engaged in working with ceramics, a new medium to her. The exhibition includes several ceramic pieces based on her study of Moroccan ceramic tile murals, zellij.
Thompson has been a resident of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy, and returns to Italy often to pursue her interest in medieval painting and the decorative arts. She lives in New Hampshire and is Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College.
The Bowery Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6. For further information or digital reproductions contact Esmé Thompson, 603-398-7588, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.esmethompson.com.
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Read the May 2011 review in Art