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Thomas’s prints are made on recycled materials. In an email to Hyperallergic, she said, “Vintage paper is a treasure for me. I used to work in recycling and am accustomed to trash picking. I am drawn to yellowed reams of paper I might spot in a clear trash bag or box on the street.”
Each work is a monotype, cranked through the press multiple times. Plates are rarely re-inked and the colors traipse randomly across the print. The architecture of old buildings shows through, like a historic brick mansion among glass and steel high-rises.
Works like “Diagonally Placed Straight-Edged”(2019) instill a sense of memory. Here we see the scars of a city, as structures fall and rise over time, are used, disused, and recontextualized for changing needs. The city itself is an organism that outlasts its inhabitants. Each next generation undoes, remakes, and tries to forget the trauma of undoing. Thomas’s art exists in that space where our longing for the past and our curiosity of the future meet and blend.
Among the sharp, hard angles of the rectangles which might be actual buildings, Thomas inserts bold circles — the potential for something new. While the hard-edged shapes bleed into one another and fade, circles are firmer, independent, as if they are the essence of the city that remains unchanged, or the part of a community that gives residents a sense of belonging.
“Printmaking is community-making for me,” said Thomas. “Art is where my home is, and Manhattan is my home. Manhattan is my easel and a place for meaningful cultural conversations.”
Through her prints, we come to understand the shifting structures that define us and that in return become defined by us.
Austin Thomas: Metropolis continues at Municipal Bonds (1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, California) through September 3.
One hundred years after Mary Hiester Reid’s death, Flower Diary recovers the elusive, overlooked artist’s life and work
An exhibition of cabinet cards at LACMA showcases marketing and personal panache.
Over 50 years of the artist’s video and media work on how images, sound, and cultural iconography inform representation is on view through December 30.
Most eye miniatures were exchanged between lovers, though they were also given to close friends and family members.
Their original goal was to create a paint that would effectively reflect sunlight away from a building to reduce energy usage, but now the discovery has earned a Guinness World Record.
Over the course of three months, the resident artists in Going to the Meadow will collaborate and create with a curated set of continually changing materials.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, exhibitions on irises in art history, LGBTQ Pride, and more have been translated.