Exhibition | Michael Tompkins: Recent Paintings & Landscape Drawings | at | San Francisco | Art Week

Michael Tompkins: Recent Paintings & Landscape Drawings

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Saturday, 7 May 2016 -
10:00am to 6:00pm
©Michael Tompkins_Search for Timberline Trail

San Francisco, California:  The Paul Thiebaud Gallery presents Michael Tompkins: Recent Paintings & Landscape Drawings March 15 through May 7, 2016.  These concurrent shows offer several perspectives on the ability and creative output of a visual artist—three different bodies of work in medium, iconography, style, and intention—created over a period of six years.


As the painter explained, “First, there are the drawings:  A new body of work, in a medium usually reserved for studies, that I intended from the beginning as stand alone works.  During the years that they were in my studio, they were developed without comment or pressure, put away for periods of time and brought out again for development.  Then, there is the hint of a new direction in landscape painting, very separate from the drawings, on a very intimate scale.  Third is a continuation of still life, responding in the squares and rectangles to a constructivist streak I’ve always been drawn to, again kept in the studio and allowed to settle in awhile.” 

Berkeley-based Tompkins turned to drawings in 2011 as a respite from making very complicated, time-intensive paintings.  Normally, these interruptions would have him exploring oils on paper as studies for possible paintings.  This time, he started with simple forms such as a diagonal, a horizontal, or two curves—and no preconceived notion of the result.  As random marks were made with varying grades of pencil, from vertical lines to cross-hatches, landscapes began to suggest themselves.  The basic forms echoed shapes that he continually observed and recorded in small sketchbooks while on hikes in West Marin.  The resultant ten drawings, many large-scale, are ultimately invented places, with an emphasis on light effects, comprised of layers of uncountable marks, some erasures, then more marks. 

Continuing the exploration of still life imagery presented as if atop a shelf, this current group of paintings sees an increase in the complexity not only in objects rendered and but also in their arrangement in the composition.  The oil on wood panel paintings utilize trompe l’oeil effects while maintaining the feel of a painting.  In these works presenting clusters of objects—such as a stack of books, lichen-covered pieces of wood, an empty bottle of vinegar or a coil of yellow rope—resting upon a shelf, the artist seeks to explore formal arrangements of light, shape, color, and pattern, with an emphasis on repeated vertical and horizontal elements.

Artist ( Description ): 

The artist received his MFA from University of California at Davis in 1983, after earning his BFA there in 1981.  Tompkins was a past recipient of NEA fellowship.  He further received the prestigious Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters.  An exhibition catalogue of the Landscape Drawings is available. 

Other Info: 

Public Reception for the Artist:  Saturday, March 19, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Venue ( Address ): 

Paul Thiebaud Gallery
645 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133


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Other shows from Paul Thiebaud Gallery

Wayne Thiebaud "Monotypes"
12/01/2018 to 01/26/2019
07/10/2018 to 09/01/2018
Hadas Tal: Recent Paintings
01/13/2018 to 02/24/2018
©Michael Tompkins_Search for Timberline Trail
Michael Tompkins: Recent Paintings & Landscape Drawings



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