David Thomas is one busy guy. Not only is he the Professor of Fine Art at RMIT, he is an internationally exhibiting artist, whose work has been displayed all over Australia, throughout the Asia-Pacific, and in Europe. In his new exhibition, curated by Fleur Watson, two connected yet disparate spaces will be set up, reflecting different stages of Thomas’s career.
The exhibition entitled David Thomas: Colouring Impermanence assembles over 100 works from Thomas’ illustrious 40-year career for the very first time. Thomas has said “painting offers an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of our responses; emotional and conceptual; imaginative and tactile. The works enable the viewer to understand the movement of meaning over time and to contemplate the transitory, unstable nature of being and perceiving.” Below is an official walk-through description of what one can expect of the exhibition, which ties together many mediums, and addresses many key concepts.
Project Room 1 is a contemplative and experiential space with a series of works from Thomas’ archive as well as new works created directly in response to Design Hub. Large-scale monochrome and reflection paintings operate as surface and offer illusionary depth; folding together real and pictorial space as well as time.
The mobile monochrome series Taking a Line for a Walk (2011) brings together Thomas’ playful sense of humour together with a deep contemplation of mortality, transience and our passage through what he describes as the “wonder of the everyday world”.
Project Room 2 is conceived as a studio-like environment. Works from early figurative drawings through to contemporary paintings are presented with works by peers, alongside collaborative projects such as those with international collective Concrete Post.
A series of drawings in folios from the 1970s to the present day, brings together drawings from Thomas’ transition period between figuration and abstraction as well as early explorations into colour, time and duration through photo-paintings and composites.
The exhibition culminates with a large-scale and immersive installation entitled Impermanences – works made on thin paper with opaque media. The emphasis on touch and its duration creates an unstable surface that is subject to the conditions of change, challenging value in painting.
David Thomas: Colouring Impermanence, will be open from Friday 28 July until Saturday 23 September 2017, at the RMIT Design Hub, Corner Victoria and Swanston Streets, Carlton. www.designhub.rmit.edu.au/
Check out David Thomas’ work on his website