“I am drawn to the images I use for a variety of reasons. Sympathy can be one. Sometimes it is the resonance of a gesture through history. Sometimes it is an aesthetic response, sometimes the result of a search for an image to flesh out an idea. The work done to these images is then a series of actions designed to create a painting, various representational tactics, optical plays, and experiments with color, mark and texture. A kind of tactile/visual thinking about the image, with no particular goal in mind.
Associated with the Pictures Generation, Thomas Lawson (b. 1951, Glasgow) is invested in the politics of painting. His painterly experiments disrupting image, perception, palette, temporality calls meaning into question. Portraits render mythological and recent historical events and figures in Neo-Surrealist ways. He has shown paintings at Metro Pictures in New York, Anthony Reynolds in London, and David Kordansky Gallery (2012), Richard Kuhlenschmidt and Rosamund Felsen galleries in Los Angeles.
Lawson has been the subject of solo exhibitions that include the Dallas Biennial (2014); Participant Inc (2009); LAXART, Los Angeles (2007); Third Eye Centre, Glasgow and Battersea Arts Centre, London (1990); and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California (1987). Recent group exhibitions include Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2013); Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); and The Pictures Generation: 1974 – 1984, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009). His work is in the public collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Tate, London, among other museums. Lawson lives and works in Los Angeles and is the Dean of the School of Art at CalArts, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of East of Borneo.