Thomas’ recent mixed media paintings and sculptures extend his long-held interest in the intersection between language and visual communication. The passage––“When words fail and all my pictures fade”––written in one of his many handmade artist’s books led him to seek solutions to a bigger question: “How do I communicate when that happens?” The new works featured in SOCO Gallery’s exhibition embody the artist’s interest in interrogating the power and limitations of the written word. Also featured in the Hold These Truths exhibition will be the first artist’s book commissioned for acquisition. Since 1990, he has filled over 50 handmade books that brim with colorful collages, writings, and paintings that have been described as “patchwork quilts of the subconscious.” The artist has observed that his books are a running dialogue between the state of himself and the state of the world.
Thomas is a graduate of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Art + Art History. In spring 2015 he was honored with the department’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. His commissioned works have been featured at the North Carolina Museum of Art; The Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art; and The Craft Museum of Finland. His works are held in numerous private and public collections including the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.