At Almine Rech, Blair Thurman Revs Up the “Look of Kool” and his Hot Wheels Inspiration
Image rights: © Blair Thurman. Photography by Robert McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.
In his sculptures and installations, Blair Thurman, a painter at heart, explores the history of painting and its place in our media-saturated contemporary culture. Using the traditional materials of painting, wooden stretchers, canvas, and paint, often in combination with neon tubing (so closely associated with advertising signage), he crafts representational and abstract forms that reference the histories of abstraction, Minimalism, and Pop Art, and the excesses of commercial consumer culture. Motifs from car culture—decals, racetracks, wheels, auto bodies, and seatbelts—permeate his work as design elements, appearing almost abstract. In his “Supermodels” series, Thurman deconstructs racecars, using neon tubing and shaped canvases to present them splayed against the wall like animal pelts, alongside their individual components. Presented as such, the race car becomes many individual paintings, each representative of an artistic movement, seen in the light of mass culture. Since receiving his MFA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Thurman has achieved a prolific career with exhibitions showing around the world. Just In 2014, Thurman has had solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery, New York; galerie frank elbaz, Paris; galerie lange + pult, Zürich; and MAGASIN Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble.
American, b. 1961, New Orleans, Louisiana, based in New York, New York