Bob Thompson
American, 1937-1966
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
Modern Heroics: 75 Years of African-American Expressionism at the Newark Museum,
Newark Museum
Master Drawings,
Jason McCoy Gallery
Pat de Groot and Friends,
Acme Fine Art

In his short career, Bob Thompson defied the midcentury American predilection for abstraction by channeling the political tumult and energy of the early 1960s into figurative paintings. Thompson started his mature body of work in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1958, making post-expressionist, symbolic paintings. Upon moving to New York shortly thereafter, he began reinterpreting European paintings from the Renaissance through the early 20th-century into parables of contemporary American life, touching on climate issues and the history of race relations. He achieved quick success with these Fauvist-style paintings, which feature bold juxtapositions of hot and cool colors to symbolize forces of good and evil, a quality echoed in his allegorical, occasionally mythological subject matter.

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